Why Philly is holding kids on $500,000 bail

Though he had no record, and was 15 years old, he was charged in adult court.

Bail was set at $75,000. The required 10 percent of that, $7,500, was more than the teen or his mother could fathom.

So, in January 2015, Eugene Lee was sent to an adult jail, Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Center. It was three months before his mother, Wylicia Clark, 35, of the city's Frankford section, could get the bail reduced to an amount she could pay.

The charges involved an attempted robbery with a BB gun, in which no one was shot and Eugene was not the gunman. It was botched when the victim, an older man, convinced the teens he had a gun himself, and scared them away.

Eugene is home now, and his case has been moved to juvenile court. But he's not the same.

"It did something to him," said Clark, adding that her son's case is ongoing. "He still doesn't sleep at night. He doesn't trust anybody. He's in school, but he's very wary about talking to people in school. He doesn't even want to go outside."

Read the entire article which features grantee Youth Art Self-Empowerment Project here

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