What sticks most with Catherine Jones is the darkness. At night, when the sun no longer streamed through the small window of her isolation cell, the cockroaches would come out. Alone, tucked away in the corner of her cell, she’d beg the guard outside to keep her lights on through the night. Some would. Some wouldn’t.
This was Jones’ nightly routine for about 11 months in 1999 at the Brevard County Jail. At 13, she was one of the youngest children in the country to be charged with first-degree murder. In Florida’s justice system, Jones and her younger brother pleaded guilty in exchange for an 18-year prison sentence. However, at such a young age, she wasn’t allowed to be around other incarcerated adults.
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