The new Netflix docu-series Girls Incarcerated takes viewers inside the walls of Indiana's Madison Correctional Facility, where young female inmates are trying to get their lives back on track. Some of them have little support in the outside world, but many of them are determined to rise above the obstacles in their way. "If there's one thing this place needs," the facility's high school principal says on the show, "it's for the students to dream and not be defined by the fact that they're here."
Here are the stories of a few of the 11 inmates profiled in the series. One is making plans for her future, one is experiencing hardship in her present, and one is trying to atone for her past.
Brianna Guerra is thinking about a life of military service
This 17-year-old says she landed at Madison after a string of offensives — including drinking, drug use, and armed robbery. But now she wants to make her family proud, and she even thinks about enlisting in the U.S. Navy when she's released. But as we see on the show, this self-proclaimed "bad girl" has trouble getting out of her own way since her temper often holds her prisoner.
A lot of viewers want to adopt Najwa Pollard
If you don't want to adopt Pollard after watching #GirlsIncarcerated… You should feel for your pulse because you might not have one. 🛇❤
Real Talk: The world is full of Pollards. So, I challenge you to think about how you can get involved and make a change. pic.twitter.com/W5PYiJOVEd
— Jacie Minnick (@jacie_minnick) March 3, 2018
Najwa, 16, completed a program at Madison following her drug bust, but she couldn't be discharged because she had no stable home situation to which to return. Her story must have tugged at the heartstrings of many people, as former Madison counselor Jacie Minnick has seemingly been inundated with messages from concerned viewers. "Don't contact me to say you want to adopt Pollard," Jacie wrote in her Twitter bio. "Tell me you just called your local agency."
"#NajwaPollard was a faceless, nameless kid in the system until you watched this show," she tweeted recently. "Please remember that there are other faceless, nameless kids in your communities."
Taryn Twine accidentally killed her friend in a car crash
This 17-year-old actually checked herself into prison — because she wanted to punish herself for her friend's death. The Palladium-Item has the details on that August 2016 tragedy: Taryn lost control of an SUV on a road near Abington, IN, and one of her four passengers was ejected from the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene. It's a sad twist in the life of this gymnast with good grades, but as we see on the show, she helps keeps other young inmates on the track to rehabilitation.
Be sure to watch Girls Incarcerated to see how each of these girls progresses. All eight episodes of the Netflix docu-series are now streaming.