[Equal Voice] A Look at Life Inside Youth Jails by richard ross

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 into the hidden world of juvenile incarceration.”

Read the report and browse the gallery here.

[KCRW] World Isn't Worth Saving if the Price Is a Tear of an Innocent Child by richard ross

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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 period of time – sometimes even in isolation. Part of the deal with detention authorities was that the kids' faces in these photographs should be blurred or not seen at all. Still, their body language and the way Ross composed his images speak loudly about the emotional devastation of this experience.

    These images walk a fine line between documentary and an artistic statement, without diminishing the power of either. As a result, we are compelled to look at them, and to look at them again, paying attention to every detail, trying to comprehend what is going on with these kids. I wonder what Pope Francis and Justice Kennedy would have to say about these photos.


The full piece is on KCRW's website here.

[TIME] Inside America’s Juvenile-Detention System by richard ross

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 a teacher, I regularly have conversations with my students about how art can and should function. What constitutes an object as belonging in a gallery as opposed to a community? Who instituted these boundaries? Is it possible to make art that occupies both worlds? Finally, can art in either world effect real change? None of these questions are easily answered, or even attempted. The photographic work of Richard Ross dares engage their premise.

[Mother Jones] These Photos Show What Life Is Like for Girls in Juvenile Detention by richard ross

Last week,  wrote about Richard's work and featured some images on Mother Jones:

We confine and often demonize a group of kids who have been abused and violated by the very people who should be protecting and loving them," writes Ross, who also won a 2012 National Magazine Award for a photo collection on juvenile justice, in the preface. "These girls in detention and commitment facilities are further abused by an organized system that can't recognize or respond to their history and their needs…Is this the only solution we can offer?"