At the age of 16, Maria was pregnant, living at home, and in Juvenile Drug Court. Her drugs of choice were marijuana and methamphetamine. Her family was willing to take on one more mouth to feed, which was fortunate since the father of her child was on his way to state prison due to his gang activities. Everyone in Maria’s world, including her parents and brothers, were gang members. Feuds between the Nortenos and the Surenos were commonplace in her world.
With the intervention of Juvenile Drug Court, Maria stopped using drugs because she learned she was hurting her unborn child. As her system cleared out and her brain re-engaged, Maria began to doubt some of the ways her brothers and parents lived their lives. Maria asked her local Friends of Drug Court Fund for help: “My baby will be born in 6 weeks. I don’t want her to live in a room that is painted gang colors. Can you help me buy a can of paint so I can paint my bedroom?”