For the last 10 years, Richard Ross has gone behind the barbed wire to document the American juvenile justice system, bringing back haunting photos and personal narratives from the very youth confined by it. In the forthcoming publication Juvie Talk, Ross explores the links between language, policy, and experiences of incarcerated youth by giving the reader a closer look at the rich interviews the Juvenile in Justice Project is known for.
By examining the specific institutional and colloquial terms used by youth in the interviews, the reader gains a deeper understanding of their world than ever before. Juvie Talk is presented in a format that is exciting for young readers, opening the door for deeper discussion with youth as an educational text and tool. The supplemental staging guide by director Peter Sellars provides instructions for turning the stories into a play for a more immersive exercise. As a whole, Juvie Talk is an innovative, interactive educational instrument shedding light on issues of justice and adolescence that deeply affect today’s youth.