Youth Talk Life After Foster Care, Juvenile Detention in New Documentary, “Just One”

Dieter Cantu and Angel Jackson re-live the single police encounter that forever changed their lives. Now they’re demanding change and helping other dual-status youths live productive lives.

CYPRESS, Texas – Sept. 22, 2021 — All it takes is just one encounter to change a young person’s life forever. Especially the lives of black and brown children. This single occurrence often places these children in both the foster care and juvenile correctional systems. Collective Action for Youth (CA4Y) features the stories of two dual-status youths in a new docudrama entitled, “Just One.” The film was directed and produced by award-winning filmmaker, Lisa N. Alexander.

“In my initial meeting it was made quite clear that whatever work I produced, it had to depict the youth from an empowered place,” Alexander remembers. “There would be no victimizing or saviors to edify,” she recalled. The documentary focuses on the challenges Deiter Cantu and Angel Jackson overcame and the changes they’re working to enact.

The documentary opens with a dramatic court scene, written by Alexander, and has a jarring ending. It also includes a jaw-dropping interview with former Texas Juvenile Correctional Officer, Sharee Cammon. Harris County Dual Status Juvenile Probation Department Supervisor, Deidra Ewing assures viewers that the department is more “compassionate” and does what she calls “heart work.”

“I had no idea what a dual-status youth was before taking this project,” said Alexander. “I was unaware that this population even existed and that organizations like Collective Action for Youth were helping these incredible young people navigate their journeys,” she continued. “It was truly an honor to help them tell their story,” she said.

The 31-minute documentary will be available for viewing on Vimeo and is a PrettyWork Creative production.

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