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Atlantic Documentaries

'How Do You Help a 16-Year-Old Who Only Knows Violence?'

Mar 01, 2018 | 66 videos
Video by The Atlantic

Zhacori Bates served a two-and-a-half year sentence in a Virginia juvenile-corrections center for a crime she committed when she was 17. Now, she’s returning to her neighborhood, where she faces challenges reintegrating with the community and getting back on her feet.  

This VR series from The Atlantic is part of a larger reporting project on juvenile justice reform in Virginia. As the population of incarcerated young people has declined, the state has closed all but one center, Bon Air. Approximately 200 inmates are serving out their sentences there, many of them far from their families and communities. Follow The Atlantic for more, including an inside look at Bon Air and perspectives from inmates, staff, and advocates.

These VR films explore firsthand experiences of three young people in the system. Blending interviews with 3-D animation, each film presents a perspective from a different stage in the detention process. For an optimal viewing experience, watch the film in VR180 with a VR headset.  

For more, see Life Inside Maximum-Security Juvenile Detention and Life in an Alternative to Juvenile Detention.

The Atlantic was not able to independently confirm the details of Bates’s case because her criminal record is sealed.

Authors: Atthar Mirza, Nicolas Pollock

About This Series

Original short documentaries produced by The Atlantic