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Game of Silence‘s youth detention center completely horrified me

Game of Silence is one of those shows that quickly draws you into the plot because of how real it seems. From the relationships to the politics, you feel like everything in the pilot’s story line is something that could plausibly happen. There is one aspect, however, that I hope to God isn’t an accurate portrayal.

I’m talking about Game of Silence‘s depiction of a juvenile correctional facility.

The images in the flashbacks of when Jackson, Gil, Shawn and Boots were incarcerated are haunting. From the abuse doled out by guards, to the cage fighting and back to the chilling moment when the boys are tied up and dragged away by other inmates during the riot scene, Game of Silence‘s picture of being locked up as a child is horrifying.

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The sequences are realistic enough that it makes you wonder if the same horrible things could be happening to kids in actual facilities — and the craziest thing is we don’t even know exactly what warden Roy Carroll did to the boys yet.

The worst part? Jackson, Gil, Shawn and Boots were far from delinquents when they were sentenced to do time. They were kids who made a bad decision and received a punishment that didn’t fit the crime — something that I personally know happens in the real world.

Game of Silence still
Image: Bob Mahoney/NBC

When I was 14 years old, I knew a girl at school who had a house party when her dad and stepmother went out of town. The party got out of control and a neighbor called the police because they thought the place was being robbed. The party ended with a SWAT team surrounding the premises and ordering everyone out at gunpoint.

Long story short, her stepmother pressed charges and she ended up going to juvie. This wasn’t a hardened criminal. This was a young, fun-loving teen who’s only crime was perhaps loving Boone’s Strawberry Hill a little too much. I don’t remember her exact conviction, but she ended up doing five months, the last of which she was on release to attend classes. She would come to school from jail in the morning, telling terrifying stories of how the other girls there would fashion their toothbrushes into shivs and how she couldn’t sleep at night because she was afraid someone would hurt her.

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Did she deserve to be grounded for the better part of sophomore year? You betcha. But did she deserve for a judge to send her to jail and throw away the key? No way. The same thing goes for the characters in Game of Silence.

As we’ve learned through recent true crime shows like Netflix’s Making a Murderer, sometimes having the wrong people in your life or being in the wrong place at the wrong time or just one little lapse in judgment can change the course of your life forever.

It will be interesting to see how being incarcerated as children will play out for the characters in Game of Silence. As frightening as the first scenes of Season 1 were, I have a feeling the worst is yet to come.

What did you think of the first episode of Game of Silence?

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