Bresha Meadows didn’t sleep her first night at the adolescent treatment facility in January.
Last week Bresha was moved back to a juvenile detention center to continue waiting for the trial she’s been anticipating since last July.
As Rewire previously reported, on July 28, 2016, Bresha, then age 14, was arrested on charges of killing her allegedly abusive father. She had run away to her aunt’s home twice. When Bresha was brought home, her aunt Martina Latessa told Rewire, the violence and abuse continued.
Bresha was sent to the Trumbull County Juvenile Detention Facility in Warren, Ohio, to await her day in court. If convicted, she could be held in juvenile detention until she turns 21-but no longer faces decades, if not life, behind bars. At her pre-trial hearing on January 20, the juvenile court judge announced that she would be transferred to an adolescent treatment facility for a mental health evaluation.
Bresha had spent 175 days, including her 15th birthday, behind bars.
Though Bresha was still under custody, “She finally was getting the assessment and care that she needed and could not get while in the juvenile facility,” said Bresha’s lawyer, Ian Friedman, in an interview with Rewire.
While the juvenile detention center limits Bresha’s visitors to her mother, grandparents, and attorney, the treatment center encourages family visits as part of her treatment.
So were Bresha’s other aunts and uncles who, under the detention center policy, had not been allowed to visit or receive calls from her.
Latessa remembers taking Bresha to Boston Market during one of the times Bresha had run away.
She and her sister Brandi, Bresha’s mother, sat down with Bresha and ate; it was the first family meal that the three had had in nearly six years.
At the treatment center, Bresha was allowed to wear her own clothes rather than a jail uniform.
The family, too, had hoped that Bresha would be able to remain in the more therapeutic environment during her pre-trial detention.
Bresha’s next pre-trial hearing is on May 8, rescheduled from April 17.
Friedman continues to hope that the court will determine that Bresha acted in self-defense and allow her to return to her family and begin rebuilding her life.
Supporters across the country are planning a week of events from April 10 to 17 to raise awareness about Bresha’s case.
They also continue to write letters of support and have organized book drives to keep Bresha, and other girls and women behind bars, supplied with reading material during incarceration.
Bresha’s trial is scheduled for May 22nd.