A youth prison in Maryland where many of the cells, referred to as rooms, have chalkboard walls free to be drawn on. A California Youth Authority facility where young people serving “juvie life” sentences tack complex photo collages to the walls above their beds and desks. A cell at a detention facility in Multnomah County, Oregon where an 18” painted square on one wall delineates where young inmates can hang photos—all of the other wall space must remain blank. These are all examples of spaces in youth confinement facilities where children are permitted some creative control. My organization, Juvenile In Justice, having documented more than 200 facilities in 31 states in the U.S, can state with some confidence that the range of visuals/art in the youth prison system is overall pretty bleak.
Art can play a significant role in the process … Read More »
Built in 1957 as Bridges Juvenile Center, Spofford was a secure detention facility. It closed in 2010. At the time of this visit in August 2009, it was rated for a maximum capacity of 75 kids, usually 16-20 are female.