THEY CALL US MONSTERS goes behind the walls of the Compound, a high-security facility where Los Angeles houses youth who are being tried as adults for violent crimes. To their advocates, they’re kids. To the system, they’re adults. To their victims, they’re monsters. The film follows three young offenders who sign up to take a screenwriting class as they await their respective trials. Arrested at 16, Jarad faces 200-years-to-life for four attempted murders; Juan, also arrested at 16, faces 90-to-life for first-degree murder; Antonio was arrested at 14 and faces 90-to-life for two attempted murders. Through screenwriting, their complex stories are revealed.
Following the film will be a panel discussion with Shakur Abdullah, Case Manager II at ReConnect, Inc.; Dr. Colleen Conoley, neuropsychologist; Annie Hayden, Assistant Douglas County Public Defender; and Amy Miller, Legal Director at ACLU of Nebraska. Juliet Summers, Policy Coordinator at Voices for Children in Nebraska will moderate.