[This is the first in a series of upcoming posts on Santa Maria Juvenile Hall] in Santa Maria, California.
Over the past year I have made two visits to Santa Maria Juvenile Hall, also known as Susan J. Gionfriddo Juvenile Hall in Santa Maria, California. Gaining access to Santa Maria Juvenile Hall has been reasonably typical of the sites I have visited. Take this experience and multiply it by 300 successful attempts and many unsuccessful… it becomes exhausting.
October 2011 I visited Steve Delira, deputy director of the juvenile detention center. We spoke for an hour and I voiced my goals to have him partake in a “Justice” themed class I was teaching with Victor Rios and Cissy Ross. He explained the reasons for the closure of the Santa Barbara (South County) juvenile detention center and said he would get back to me … Read More »
Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility is an all-female facility in Albany, Oregon. The only one in the state. Last month I spent 12+ hours talking, photographing, and recording the people who live and work at Oak Creek. What follows is an excerpt of a conversation with Mike Riggan, the superintendent of Oak Creek, on maintaining a safe environment while simultaneously dealing with the threat of aggressive youth.
[See all blog posts on Oak Creek HERE]
Mike Riggan, superintendent:
“Here is our history: after Oak Creek was opened as a girls-only facility, a number of girls engaged in an escape plan. After lights out on graveyard shift two girls staged a fight in the dorm on the Cedar Unit. The other five girls had taken shampoo and soap and placed it on the floor. They were able to secret a steel rod and … Read More »
Continuing our series on Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility…
Listen to the audio interview below, or at SoundCloud HERE.
The annual Ridenhour Prizes recognize acts of truth-telling that protect the public interest, promote social justice or illuminate a more just vision of society. For 2013, Juvenile-in-Justice the book has been nominated and made a finalist for the Ridenhour Book Prize. We are very excited to have the work and the issues it presents noticed by such an important organization. Winners in all categories will be announced later this year and we will, of course, keep you apprised of any updates (Also, you can buy your copy of the book on the site HERE.)
And, if you’re in or around New York (or have friends that are) be sure to visit the Juvenile-in-Justice exhibition at Ronald Feldman Gallery in SoHo, which is up until February 16th and recently featured in the New Yorker Magazine. More details on the exhibition HERE.
Continued from Monday’s post, a conversation with Anthony, a former ward of the California Department of Juvenile Justice. (Read it HERE)
Juvenile-in-Justice: It seems like a huge component of the troubles with the DJJ comes from issues with some staff… can you elaborate on that?
Anthony: The staff is, for the most part, shit. And to make matters worse, the wards antagonized the staff, they would posture and tell staff they were going to flood their cell, stuff like that. Sometimes the issues were small but lead to an overall feeling of being small and worthless. Like, the staff would be too lazy to bring you toilet paper. You would have to ask multiple times, and they would just, brush you off. It’s a simple request, not an item of privilege. Counseling was a complete joke. The corrections officers would trade their … Read More »
What do you do when someone you love kills someone else that you love? What recourse do you seek? What do you do when the victim is your child, and the killer their lover… someone incredibly close to your family. An article by Paul Tullis in the NY Times Magazine from this week explores these questions through the experience of a family whose 19-year-old daughter Ann Grosmaire was shot and killed by her boyfriend of three years Conor McBride, a young man with no prior record who had even lived with the Grosmaire family for several months. Ultimately, the Grosmaires and the McBrides decided together that locking up Conor for the rest of his life was not what they wanted for either of their families. What they wanted was restorative justice, a lighter sentence for Conor, with more emphasis on … Read More »
In September I was at Penn State for a couple of jam-packed days– exhibiting the work, lecturing, sitting on a panel, and visiting with faculty and students. It was a great trip, completely multidisciplinary and educational for all. One of the days I recorded an interview for Conversations from Penn State. It’s now available online HERE, and embedded below. Enjoy! Also this is just a 20 minute segment… be sure to come to the lecture at the Vera Institute of Justice on January 9th at 6pm for more! (RSVP HERE)