Children of the State: Stories of Survival and Hope in the Juvenile Justice System


Product Details

$28.99  $26.96
Scribner Book Company
Publish Date
6.3 X 9.2 X 1.3 inches | 1.2 pounds

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About the Author

Jeff Hobbs graduated with a BA in English language and literature from Yale in 2002, where he was awarded the Willets and Meeker prizes for his writing. He is the author of The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Show Them You're Good, and The Tourists. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.


"In this original, heartfelt book, veteran journalist Jeff Hobbs brings us deep into the juvenile justice system, bearing witness to a broken system while capturing the everyday lives of unbroken teachers, counselors, and students locked behind its high walls. At turns touching and intimate, enraging and honest--this book, more than any other I know, forces us to see America's youngest prisoners for what they truly are: just kids." --Matthew Desmond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Evicted

"An eye-opening, fully humanizing, deeply affecting look at the often-misunderstood juvenile justice system and its inhabitants--young people of earnestness, disappointment, hope, and resilience." --Booklist (starred review)

"One stark truth stands out throughout this human book: Too many youthful offenders will one day die in incidents that are 'violent, pointless, and painful.' A well-argued case for a better approach to turning young lawbreakers to better paths." --Kirkus

"Children of the State is a powerful and necessary book that illuminates and humanizes people who are often rendered abstractions. Jeff Hobbs combines rigorous journalism, rare access, uncommon empathy, and sharp psychological insight to shine a light on a dark corner of the criminal legal system. Children of the State--with its flawed, funny, frustrating, lovable characters--is an immersive narrative that can help us reconsider our ideas of punishment, justice, and redemption in America, especially for the youngest and most vulnerable among us." --Justine van der Leun, Pen America America Writing for Justice fellow and author of We Are Not Such Things

"Hobbs paints a perfect picture of a far from perfect world--where children with no voice, from families with no resources in communities with no power are placed and too often forgotten. In the midst of this he shows remarkable people who care and struggle to keep these kids alive and afloat. In what should be required reading for humanity, Hobbs introduces us to a terrible reality of a children's world where survival is aspirational and thriving an impossible fantasy." --Richard Ross, creator of Juvenile-in-Justice and author of Architecture of Authority