The Klimczak Kronikals: Portland’s Best All-Inclusive for Troubled Youth

Written by Amanda Klimczak
Edited by Lindsay E. Landstrom

Editor’s note: This entry of K.K. is a continuation of the previous entries. Read Part I here and Part II here.

There is a classroom attached to each of the pods, where a teacher comes in five days a week. The inmates are required by law to attend 240 days of instruction, as opposed to the mandatory 180 days in public school. The director tells me that, often, the long-term inmates finish high school ahead of time because they have nothing else to do. I don’t know how true this is. I’ve seen The Wire season 4. I know that if kids don’t want to do school work, they wont. Wait, I forgot to ask if Presbo works there teaching probability through playin’ dice.

The director tells me that, through grants, they had an Artist-in-Residence for two years who worked with the kids to paint five murals now displayed in the courthouse and the detention center.  We walk by the murals and the cynical side of Amanda wonders if the kids just watched while the artist painted.  The paintings are that good.  The director says that another grant allowed them to turn one of the pods into a library.  The library has a decent selection of non-violent, non-sexual, non-problematic-parent stories donated by the Multnomah County Public Library.  Because this was previously a pod, there are cells.  The cells were turned into dioramas of popular fiction.  When you look into the windows, you see dioramas of books such as Where the Wild Things Are, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and Moby Dick.  This is pretty cool… if you’ve read the books.

Overall, the Juvenile Detention Center seemed like a pretty cushy place to spend a sentence especially compared to the lives some of these kids had before being sentenced.  With a menu service, a library, and an art program, it seems it that would be hard to go back to a world of stealing to survive. I’ll end with this final observation. When walking by occupied pods, I noticed that the inmates were not foaming at the mouth, tattooing each other with Walkman motors, or turning toothbrushes into shivs.  Rather, they were doing math homework, coloring a family crest art assignment, or returning from a basketball game in the gym.  Ultimately – although the inmates would vehemently deny it – they looked happy.


This entry was posted in Featured Articles and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Klimczak Kronikals: Portland’s Best All-Inclusive for Troubled Youth

  1. Love the New Legality! says:

    I absolutely LOVE what the Legality has turned into. When I went to UO Law, there were NEVER any new articles and on the rare occasion that there were, they were so long and not very engaging. This has nothing to do with the talent of the authors as I personally know many of them are very smart. I hate to be presumptuous but I believe that they didn’t really enjoy writing for the site. This may be due to the previous policy that required articles to be long-form combined with the mounting stress of law school as the semester/year drags on.

    I am excited that the new staff have decided to transform the Legality into something that is easy to read, engaging, and witty. I am also glad to see that there are law students running this who do not take themselves too seriously– a rare find in a sea of competitive Type-A personalities.

    The Klimczack Kronikals is a great example of the new and improved Legality. We get to see her life as a life student through her experiences as a clerk. This is great as many law students have very different law school experiences with some never working as a clerk. She has such an alluring and natural sense of humor which makes me want to continue reading. My only piece of constructive criticism is that I want to see more like this from the rest of the staff. Mr. Landstrom’s article on prosecuting pot growers was great (I mean, he used the word “devil’s lettuce” how much better can it get…) and I think it would be awesome to get his personal anecdotes of his law school trials and tribulations. Same goes for ICP non-fan Mr. Hollingshed.

    Great job! I look forward to reading more articles like this!

    Alvin Tostig

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>