Charles’ Story

My name’s Charles. I’m 18.

I went into Resi care when I was about 15. I had a pretty bad home life and my parents asked me to move out because I was a bad influence on my little brother.

I got locked up because I was getting drunk and doing property damage and shop lifting while I was drunk.

When I had to go to court, it was the worst experience of my life. I think prisons are like a breeding ground because kids will pick up stuff from other kids or meet up when they get out.

If one kid gets drunk all the time and offends, then that kid should be put in a detox instead of just locking them up – because then they’ll just get locked up, come out and reoffend again. It will just become a cycle.

I have my own kitchen (now) and to cook food is pretty important. I cook two or three nights a week because I have staff there showing me how to do it. And I have Ron – he’s kind of like a role model which I’m pretty thankful for.

I’ve learned quite a lot of things; tolerance, understanding… I’ve matured a bit too. I think it’s really positive.

To take accountability and responsibility at first is really hard, like hearing what you’ve done to people. But once you take responsibility for that, the only thing you can do is move on and make the future better.

I need to complete Year 12 VCAL before I can get into a course. I can study land management. I’m hoping to get a job with Parks Victoria. Going into nature is calming and peaceful.