In this article I examine marginalized youths' ideas about the United States, the law, and police. My interpretive analysis is based upon in-depth, unstructured interviews with juvenile parolees living in poverty in a large southwestern city. In general, these parolees could be described as uneducated, unemployed, non-white, youth gang members. Through an examination of the youths' narratives and stories about America and its legal authorities, I attempt to illustrate how their ideas can be understood as evolving from their structurally based interactions. I present the general themes of the marginalized youths' legal and political consciousness and attempt to show how this consciousness flows from their hostile interactions with legal and conventional authorities. Ultimately, I suggest that the contrast between the youths' social justice ideals and the reality of their lives on the margins influences how they think about America, law, and the police.