Welcome to a new series of difficult but important testimony. “Gladiator School: Stories from Inside YTS” is a history of life inside California’s most notorious juvenile prison. Closed in 2010, Youth Training School (also known as Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility) had a reputation for mayhem, violence, and murder that earned it the name Gladiator School. It was there that juveniles would harden themselves for survival, only to be returned to the streets — more troubled and volatile than when they arrived.
Survivors of YTS have come forward to tell stories of daily life inside. This series will relay and respect their stories: Juvie told by the ones who were there.