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Atlantic Documentaries

'I Brought a Gun to School'

Mar 01, 2018 | 70 videos
Video by The Atlantic

Darrynun Mabry lives in an apartment paid for by the state of Virginia — part of a series of diversion efforts the state has unrolled to keep youth out of detention and curtail the high recidivism rate. Mabry was sent here instead of a detention center after being charged with bringing a gun to his high school. “It’s like a second chance,” Mabry says. “If it weren’t for this program, I would have gone back [to prison].”


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 After Juvenile Detention.


Authors: Atthar Mirza, Nicolas Pollock

About This Series

Original short documentaries produced by The Atlantic