In "Raised in the System," the extended premiere episode of the sixth season of HBO’s Emmy-winning weekly news magazine series VICE, Emmy-nominated actor Michael Kenneth Williams (The Wire, The Night Of) embarks on a personal journey to expose the root of the American mass incarceration crisis: the juvenile justice system.


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Visit these sites for more resources and information about the topics explored in Raised in the System.

Go Inside the System

Learn more about Michael Kenneth Williams and his journey through America's juvenile incarceration system with these exclusive bonus clips.

VICE Debrief

Michael Kenneth Williams discusses his reasons for making the documentary and the importance of reforming the juvenile justice system.

Imprisoned as Children

A juvenile correctional center in Virginia changed its approach to treating youth offenders.

End the Cycle

The city of Richmond, California is using a mentorship program to help reduce gun violence and keep young people out of prison.

Snoop's Hometown

Felicia “Snoop” Pearson, Williams' castmate from The Wire, discusses the Baltimore streets where she grew up.

Juvenile Justice
by the Numbers

Age that kids can be tried as adults in most states: 15

Number of kids sitting in lock-up daily: 48,000

Cost to incarcerate a violent youth offender in California, per year: $200,000

Drop in homicide rate in Richmond, California after the implementation of a program to pay at-risk offenders to undergo counseling: 70%

Program's annual budget: $980,000

Vice Episode 84
About Michael Kenneth Williams

Michael Kenneth Williams is an actor known for bringing complicated and charismatic characters to life — often with surprising tenderness.

“A setback is a setup for a comeback.”

— Michael Kenneth Williams