• “It was never easy being a kid and going straight to prison…”

    “My age is 41. I was charged in 1990. I was fifteen years old when I got charged with murder. I did not have anything around me, any support system, anything to look up to. It is very easy to get into things and not know the consequences to things. At fifteen I did not […]

    April 20, 2017
  • “It goes on and on and on until somebody stands up..”

    “Right now I’m forty-five… My mom worked all the time and she was unconcerned with me. Then crack epidemic came and blew the doors off of our whole house. My real father wasn’t around and I did not meet him until I was much older. For some reason, I think I was just pissed off […]

    April 18, 2017
  • “This is slavery.”

    I went to Juvie when I was 12-13 for 11 months. Since then, I’ve been incarcerated for 43 years. I was incarcerated on my 16th Birthday. I was given Life and 20. I was convicted of a Rape and Abduction when I was 15 years old. Since 1971 I have been on the street for […]

    January 25, 2017
  • Graham v. Florida

    By Richard Ross “I miss you like a prison mom.” Mary Graham has missed her son for the past thirteen years. Since he was sixteen, Terrence has been incarcerated. He was sentenced to die in prison. Terrence grew up with two crack-addicted parents. School was a series of sixteen different institutions as evictions created dislocation […]

    September 2, 2016
  • “I am always asking, ‘Where is my dad?'”

    I got in trouble here. Criminal damage, destruction of property. I kicked down a door in my mom’s house. She took all my electronics. I wanted to be on Facebook. I broke into my room to get my laptop. They originally took it away from me because I was suspended from school. I got in […]

    June 15, 2016
  • #FREEAMERICA

    We recently collaborated on a poster with The Amplifier Foundation and the artist Ernesto Yerena. Please tag @juvenileinjustice if you see these posters out in the wild. #FREEAMERICA

    May 4, 2016
  • Joseph Ligon

    By Richard Ross “I may be released before you get here…” These are the optimistic words of Joseph Ligon. Joe was incarcerated when he was 15 after a one-day trial for a murder he denies committing. He is in Pennsylvania—one of the three major states (Michigan and Louisiana) that required a subsequent Supreme Court ruling […]

    March 30, 2016
  • Let facilities take root in our neighborhoods

    A version of this article was originally published by the NY Daily News.  ………………………. At age 15, I was arrested for stealing a car and was sentenced to juvenile prison until my 21st birthday. In mid-90s Illinois, the sole female juvenile prison was located in a Chicago suburb, five hours north of my rural town. […]

    February 16, 2016
  • Continuum

    By Richard Ross Standing in rooms where people were tortured is a visceral experience. Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. The discussion then, 10 years past, was the fluid continuum–from discussion, interview, interrogation, then finally, torture. The terms were sometimes twisted—“enhanced interrogation”—but our descending from who we were to what we had become was unmistakable and chilling […]

    January 13, 2016
  • “I lost my freedom in detention!”

    This week, Juvenile In Justice concludes the features on two adults who spent much of their childhood lives in detention. Jose Vidrio shares his experience of being in and out of the juvenile justice system and the conditions of confinement, and touches on his achievements as an adult now.  ……………………….  by Jose Vidrio I was physically abused by my […]

    January 8, 2016
  • “I am very happy with my life now.”

    Over the next few weeks, Juvenile In Justice will feature the stories of two adults who spent much of their childhood lives in detention. This week, Amy Stephens-Vang shares her story of resilience and recovery. ……………………….  by Amy Stephens-Vang I moved to California when I was six years old. My parents are both alcoholics and drug addicts. […]

    December 17, 2015
  • Tribal Justice

    By Richard Ross I offer condolences this Thanksgiving—sending a note to the chief judge of the Yurok tribe.  The Yuroks are the largest tribe in California. 6500 people whose traditional lands are along the Klamath River. Many of the Yurok have no running water nor electricity. Roadside deer are not road kill, rather they are “harvest.” […]

    December 9, 2015