• 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
  • [Equal Voice] A Look at Life Inside Youth Jails As the U.S. debates criminal justice reform, few outsiders have entered the world of youth in custody. Richard Ross, a California-based documentary photographer, has done so. Equal Voice News is sharing some of his images and the stories he has collected over the years. The Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights calls the photographs a “glimpse […] November 3, 2015
  • [Fusion] Why are so many kids serving time in juvenile jail? We are happy to share this great piece by Fusion. Back in February Fusion accompanied Richard Ross to document the kids behind bars in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. This piece is by the kids for the kids. The video produced from that day: October 26, 2015
  • ISOLATED The Isolated exhibit is the most recent component of Richard Ross’ ten-year effort to document the juvenile justice system in the United States. In this show, Ross critiques the pervasive use of solitary confinement with a combination of documentary photographs, audio clips from interviews with incarcerated youth, and a facsimile of an isolation cell. Atkinson […] September 17, 2015
  • Alabama: A Different Approach By Richard Ross Cathy Woods is the assistant director of one of the more progressive juvenile detention centers in the United States: Tuscaloosa County Juvenile Detention Center in Alabama. Tuscaloosa isn’t just the home of the Crimson Tide or where George Wallace stood on the schoolhouse steps trying to thwart desegregation; it’s the location of a […] September 8, 2015
  • [KCRW] World Isn’t Worth Saving if the Price Is a Tear of an Innocent Child Last night on KCRW’s Art Talk Edward Goldman briefed listeners on Ross and his work to document the state of the juvenile justice system. Here is an excerpt from the show: Ross was able to gain access to various American juvenile detention facilities, where kids as young as 10 are being incarcerated for an unreasonably long […] July 8, 2015
  • Children of the Abyss By Jason Sexton It was the end of an era. But one that must be told. I watched it growing up in Tracy, a California prison town. Older guys would leave for prison. Bay Area rappers spoke of being brought up middle-class yet catching cases, doing “lock-down” in Preston. Fast juvenile crime and doing time earned […] June 9, 2015
  • [TIME] Inside America’s Juvenile-Detention System Today, writing for Time’s blog Lightbox, Carmen Winant published  “Inside America’s Juvenile-Detention System” featuring 16 of our photos and an interview with Ross. We think the readers of TIME will benefit from seeing the images and hearing about the project, and we hope to expand the discussion of the juvenile justice system and the need for reform. As […] May 26, 2015
  • [USA Today] Richard Ross interviewed on Justice podcast For the past few days, Richard has been part of a podcast series and online chat featured on USA Today entitled “Why is the juvenile justice system failing girls?” under the hashtag #usajusticechat April 30, 2015
  • “It is a battlefield out there sometimes for kids.” I am out of prison for 48 days now. Was doing 20 split 5. That means I did five and as long as I didn’t get into trouble it will stay at 5. If you get into trouble it is another 15. I was in county. That’s where they hold 16 and up. If you […] March 18, 2015
  • PBS Photo Essay: Life inside a juvenile detention center for girls Three girls at a juvenile facility in Racine, Wisconsin. Roughly 30 percent of incarcerated youth in the United States are female. Thanks, PBS! Today Girls in Justice was featured in a small photo essay on PBS NewsHour written by Mike Fritz. March 17, 2015