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Chris M. is photographed in his barber shop at the Union Rescue Mission on Skid Row in Downtown Los Angeles. (Photograph by David Reeve)

Gladiator School: Stories from Inside YTS (Ep 6)

“We were young. We were not afraid to die.”

“We were not afraid to die.”

Chris, aka “Child” is pictured in the center
A frequent hangout for Westside Crazies in the bordering neighborhoods of Silver Lake and Echo Park, California
Chris visits the site of a drive-by shooting in Echo Park. Thirty years earlier he stood ready to retaliate — armed with a .22 rifle
A typical cell at YTS held two prisoners.
Isolation cells, also known as “The Hole” would hold wards for 23 hours a day at YTS.
Fresh graffiti shows that the Westside Crazies are still active in the area, but it’s not like it once was, said Chris.
Chris visits the site of a 1990’s gun battle in Echo Park that left his face scarred with a bullet wound.

Want to read more? “Gladiator School: Stories from Inside YTS” is a series on Vantage:



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David William Reeve

DAVID WILLIAM REEVE is a writer + photographer from Southern California who documents the lives of young people at risk. Contact: davidwilliamreeve (at) gmail