Describing the American reality-documentary entitled “Girls Incarcerated: Young and Locked Up” as an eye-opener, can be considered an understatement – it featured teenager females living inside a juvenile correctional facility. Each of their stories was given the right amount of respect by presenting it to the audience without the usual judgmental often apparent other documentary series. For two seasons, the people behind the Netflix TV series were successful in drawing out emotions such as heartache, desolation, and indignation from the viewers. People saw the juvenile inmates as human beings instead of parasites who needed to be squashed by society. While the facilities did their best to give each of the girls a light at the end of the tunnel, reality dictates that not everyone gets a happy ending, or even something close to it.
Without confirmation of having a third season, people wondered – where are the girls incarcerated now?
“Girls Incarcerated,” the reality-documentary TV show
The reality/documentary TV series had introduced to the viewers the condensed version of the daily activities of the young girls, who were thrown into a rather more relaxed version of a prison facility. During season one, the location featured was the Madison Juvenile Correctional Facility in Indiana, while the second season featured another detention center in Indiana called LaPorte Juvenile Correctional Facility. The one at Madison has since been closed down due to the dwindling number of occupants, as the state of Indiana changed its mass incarceration programs. They were no longer required to provide housing for those charged with petty crimes.
These facilities housed troubled teens who had committed criminal offenses ranging from assault, robbery/theft, vandalism, underage drinking/drug violations, among other relatively petty charges. The ‘juvie’ helped the girls put their lives back on track, by entering a program in a safe environment, but with a level of medium security.
They were never called inmates in there being referred to as students, and instead of punishing them, the objective of these facilities was to reform them. The girls were given education, employable skills, substance abuse treatment, and grief/loss therapy.
Meet the featured inmates in “Girls Incarcerated”
Most of the juvenile inmates featured in the documentary shared their personal stories of how and why they ended up there. Not all of them wanted to be on camera, and so the director was quite sensitive enough to blur the faces of the people around the inmates that they interviewed. Here are some of the inmates who had the most interesting stories, or experienced infuriating situations that became the heart of the TV series.
Aubrey Wilson’s last few days in the facility were shown during the opening of the first season. According to the guards, counselors and teachers, she had shown exemplary improvement.
When she first came to Madison, she was involved in fights and wouldn’t obey rules, but then decided that she didn’t want to spend her life wasted in the facility, much less enter another similar situation. Everyone was happy for her when she was released, and her grandparents came to pick her up; she promised that she wouldn’t be back, ever. However, when the production crew conducted a follow-up, it turned out that it hadn’t taken long for Aubrey to run away from home. They found her when one of Aubrey’s friends was arrested; she regretted everything, saying that when she rejoined society, she forgot everything she’d learned in the facility, and went straight back to doing drugs because she said she didn’t have any good friends around her. She longed for her mother who was drug dependent as well, but was nowhere to be found.
Where is Aubrey now? Unfortunately, four months after she was released into her grandparents’ care, she was sent to another juvenile facility due to drug addiction.
In 2020, she would often post selfies on her social media accounts, but nothing has been heard from her since; it was reported that her mother died from a drug overdose.
Several criminal offenses such as dealing drugs, home invasion charges, stealing cars, and even illegally removing house arrest bracelets led Chrissy Hutchinson to a stay in the juvenile facility. It’s another typical story of a child whose father wasn’t around the house much, and would be on the streets. Chrissy followed the same path, and stayed most of the time on the streets, meeting with all sorts of unscrupulous people; she said that she wanted to find out why her father preferred the streets instead of going home to them. When she was introduced to the TV series, Chrissy was already wearing a burgundy shirt which meant that she had extra privileges in the facility for good behavior.
She used to become involved in a lot of drama with other inmates, getting into fights with other girls, but she changed. The superintendent said that she was a handful and was quite tough, but then when she started opening up, she wasn’t the monster that everyone thought her to be.
She was already preparing to leave Madison Juvenile, but she started to act out a week before her release date. According to the officer-in-charge, that behavior had something to do with being nervous about the idea of returning home. Acting out meant she lost her privileges, and was asked to change into the regular purple shirt. However, she refused to do that and threw things around, even lashing out at another inmate and starting a fight. She was sent to the Making A Change (M.A.C.) room, the facility’s version of the solitary cell, as a way to reprimand that kind of attitude. It wasn’t something new to her, since she’d been sent there around 10 times during her whole stay in the facility.
Eventually, she left juvie and was quite happy when she was fetched by family.
She said that a different Chrissy left the facility, and since she graduated from high school inside the juvie, she planned to get a job to help her mom.
Where is Chrissy now? In 2021, she is still single, but as she promised, she’s been on good behaviour since her release.
Some of the inmates such as Amanda Caroll were sent there because of drug abuse; in some twisted logic, she said that she started taking drugs just to spite her mother. Apparently, her mother went to prison when she was quite young, and was only released when she Amanda was 12 years old. It made her so mad that her mother wasn’t with her growing up, saying that it was time for her to be the one in trouble, while her mother would be the one worrying.
Amanda was interviewed by the TV crew three days before her release date from the facility. She shared that her mom had changed a lot, and that had inspired her.
She was excited to be with her again, but also nervous that she might fall off the wagon after her release. Before she ended up in the juvie again, they attended counseling together, which improved her relationship with her mother. Amanda was hoping it would be the last time she would ever enter a juvenile correctional in her life, as this was already her second time. The difference this time, she said, was that she realized that she was quite dumb for making wrong decisions. She said that it didn’t only hurt her mom, but most importantly, she hurt herself in the process of taking revenge.
Where is Amanda now? When a follow-up on her was done by the TV crew, Amanda was doing great, and has managed to stay drug-free since her release from the juvenile facility. She was working at a fast-food joint, and was back in school to finish her high school education. The mother and daughter were both attending therapy, to heal together.
When the TV crew started interviewing 15-year-old Najwa Pollards for the documentary series, she has already been an inmate in Madison Juvenile for over a year. She said that she began acting out when she was younger, because her father started to become really abusive. She ran away from home many times to avoid the situation, hung-out with bad people, which led her to underage drinking and smoking weed. Her father often called the police, as she became uncontrollable.
Najwa’s case touched the hearts of the viewers, and made them feel frustrated as well, because technically she was supposed to be back in the outside world long before the TV show premiered. However, the system couldn’t release her because her parents or guardians refused to take her back. The staff and other inmates had good words to say about her, and described her as a good girl.
She was one of the youngest when she first came to the facility, and it broke their hearts that she had no home to go back to. She didn’t talk to her parents anymore, but has communicated with her two younger brothers. While she always hoped that she would be granted a release date whenever she filed the required paperwork, it just didn’t happen. The first season ended with the staff and inmates giving her a birthday party, which was the closest happy ending they could give to her at that moment.
Where is she Najwa now? Somebody posted online that she was eventually released to a group home, and was later picked up by her mother. She was trying to behave well for a while, but was unfortunately arrested again for gun possession and drug trafficking. Najwa spent a year in jail, but during that period and after her release, she worked on getting her GED. She would often post selfies on her social media account.
Not all of the girls inside the facility were incarcerated because someone sent them there, as was the case of Taryn Twine. In August 2016, she was the driver of a Jeep that was involved in a vehicular accident. After attending a party, she went home with some friends, recalling that it was quite dark that night, and she wasn’t aware that there was a curve along the road; she went across the road, skidded along a ditch, and slammed into a metal duct before rolling down on its side. It was ruled an accident because she wasn’t under the influence of alcohol or any illegal substance, however, her friend who was sitting in the passenger seat died even before the paramedics arrived. Taryn couldn’t handle the pain along with the guilt. She felt that staying in the facility would give her the punishment that she needed, even though her friend’s family had already forgiven her.
When she arrived at the juvenile correctional, it didn’t take long for her to get the burgundy shirt, as she’d led quite a disciplined life before the accident.
She was a cheerleader in her school and was into sports so she knew how to follow rules. Taryn had always been the epitome of model behavior inside the facility.
Where is Taryn now? She eventually got her release date from the facility, and from her Instagram posts, it seemed everything was going great for her. In September 2021, she announced that she’s expecting a baby by posting a sonogram, and captioned it, ‘Our little curly-headed bundle of joy will be making its appearance March 2022.’
The staff of juvenile correctional often witnessed inmates bragging about bad things that they could do just to show off – Heidi Laken was one such student. Her personal story was so tragic that most people around pitied her instead of taking her threats seriously. She shared in one of the episodes in “Girls Incarcerated” that she was molested when she was seven years old by a friend’s stepfather; whenever the pervert touched her private parts, he told her that those were “shark bites.”
Heidi never told anyone for many years and then when she was 14 years old, a friend let her be raped by someone she didn’t know. From then on, everything just spiraled down to the point that she tried killing herself many times over, but someone always intervened so she just stopped trying. She had major trust issues. and when she tried stabbing her stepfather, she was sent to the facility.
In the facility, Heidi often lashed out for no apparent reason. Initially, she didn’t want to do well, so never dreamt of wearing a burgundy shirt. Eventually, she started to be hopeful, and was inspired to be a good person. Before she left the juvenile correctional, she was already sporting the burgundy shirt. The Madison personnel were quite proud of the change in her, as she was one of the inmates that had a hard time adjusting to the system.
Where is Heidi now? Initially, after her release from the facility, everything was great.
•Girls Incarcerated (Netflix)
-Real Life Orange is the New Black, but with teenage girls
-I need a 2nd season and a follow up of these girls 👏
-Brianna was my fav
-Really good documentary/docuseries. binged watched it bc it was just too good
— Jai🔪 (@rottenlungss) March 6, 2018
However, she soon decided to leave her home and live with her boyfriend, then when she found out that she was pregnant, she went back to live with her mother, but suffered a miscarriage. She then got a job, moved out, and lived independently while trying to make a fresh start. Tragically, she went back to her old ways and was arrested on charges of burglary. Since it was her first charge as an adult, she was released, but two months later was again arrested for burglary, but was out on bail. She was arrested again after three months for giving false information regarding missing persons. Her mugshots can be found online, and she looked quite miserable.
Due to armed robbery, drug use, and underage drinking charges, Brianna Guerra ended up in the juvenile correctional. She was one of the outspoken, feisty and smart inmates – she had a hard time following rules, which earned her the title “Princess Thug”, acting like a spoiled brat whenever she didn’t get her way.
BRIANNA GUERRAThe outspoken teen was only 17 years old when she landed in the juvenile detention center featured on the…
However, just like many hothead inmates before her, she soon realized that if she didn’t get her act together, she wouldn’t get a release date.
While she still acted out sometimes, she tried hard to get the burgundy shirt, and prepare herself to return to her family, realising how lucky she was that her family never gave up on her. Brianna was eventually released into the outside world, and promised her facility mentor that she won’t be coming back, ever.
Where is Brianna now? Everything seemed to be great after her release, but then she went back to her old ways. She ran away again and was arrested, but didn’t spend a long time in a facility. When she was released, she became pregnant and was soon arrested again, this time for assault. She took the plea deal to ensure that she was already out in time to deliver the baby; it seemed that the baby had a positive effect on, her because she was doing great. She’s uploading videos onto her YouTube channel, and has around 130,000 followers.