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  • Writer's pictureKamree Maull


Kansas City, MO

One of the worst things about growing up in the inner city, especially in low-income neighborhoods, is the amount of trauma we experience; they can be so difficult to overcome.

Because we’re in these environments, we carry these traumatic experiences with us throughout our entire lives and they usually go unchecked because of the lack of access to treatment, and the sheer fact that it’s viewed as a weakness—a weakness that we may end up having to fight for because in the inner city, the number one rule is survival by any means necessary— your weakness may very well get exploited.

So what are we supposed to do? We just live with the trauma and may eventually, “wreak havoc” because of what we don’t understand? What we don’t realize is havoc comes with a cost. That person we have to answer to likely doesn’t come from the same environment as us and won’t understand the demons we are unknowingly, but constantly fighting every single day.

The prosecutor—the person we have to answer to— BOASTS that their conviction rate is 90 something percent, instead of highlighting the fact that the people in front of them are rehabilitatable. In that courtroom, the prosecutor couldn’t care less about our upbringing or the trauma we’re living with. They have one goal: to lock us up either through trial or getting us to take a deal.

I know this is meant for prosecutors, judges, and policy-makers, but this is just some free game for you to digest. I watched some of my mentees go through hell fighting this system, as if they didn’t already have it rough to begin with.

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