Kid Criminals: America’s Youngest Sex Offenders is a 50 minute long documentary about Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility where 150 teenage sex offenders are stationed.
The story is mainly about two boys: 14-year-old Tavarius McNair – extremely devoted to his mother and wants to become a scientist in the future. And his 15-year-old roommate Garrett Clutter – a fan of books, child of a loving mother and an abusive father. Clutter’s father disappeared when allegations of abuse were laid out.
And yet, the boys are part of 150 young sex offenders living in the complex.
In most juvenile sex cases, the victim is known to an offender, likewise for McNair and Clutter. While the boys don’t want to talk about the acts that sent them there, a Pendleton counselor’s attempt to explain how children end up in a place like this:
They’re having sex with animals, their younger sisters, each other.
Some of them are watching porn at a very young age.
That has to have something to do with it.
Since Pendleton is a special treatment center, if the boys pass the nine-month course, they will be released and have their record wiped clean. Usually, kids are not that lucky in America. A report by Human Rights Watch is calling attention to the effect of sex offender registrations on juveniles. While most of the sex offenders are dangerous, the report lists questionable instances of sex offenses:
Maya R., now age 28 and a resident of Michigan, was arrested at the age of 10 for sexual experimentation. ‘Me and my step brothers, who were ages 8 and 5, “flashed” each other and play-acted sex while fully-clothed.’ A year later, Maya pleaded guilty to the charges of criminal sexual conduct in the first and second degree, offenses that required her to register as a sex offender for 25 years.
In 2004, in Western Pennsylvania, a 15-year-old girl was charged with manufacturing and disseminating child pornography for having taken nude photos of herself and posted them on the Internet. She was charged as an adult, and as of 2012 was facing registration for life.
How the two boys exactly ended up in Pendleton Juvenile Correctional Facility, we can only guess.
When you’re a registered sex offender in America, you lose the right to choose where you want to live. The states say they can’t live within a thousand feet of a school or a playground or a bus stop. So they end up living out of their cars, under highway overpasses, in the woods on become homeless.
You are exiled from society, and only a few places will welcome you. One of these places is Pahokee, Florida.