• Transitions

    by Richard Ross What’s more important? Returning to the same institution after 40 years (gasp); or working full time to create a booklet that highlights effective alternatives to juvenile detention? I plan to place such a booklet in the courtroom of every juvenile and family court judge or public defender in the country. Every. Single. […]

    December 1, 2017
  • Literacy and Resistance to the School-To-Prison Pipeline

    “Teaching writing to students of high need in an urban school is simultaneously pedagogical, curricular, and political. Students labeled “at-risk” for school failure often have lowered expectations placed upon them from without that impact how they feel within. Compounding this problem of perception is the real issue of heightened surveillance on these students, including the […]

    November 15, 2017
  • Graham v. Florida (revisited)

    Terrance Graham beams with his radiant smile and perfect teeth. That’s the memory I hold of visiting him last year. Today, a year later, I think of Terrance on the anniversary of Graham v. Florida—the Supreme Court Ruling that said you cannot sentence kids to die in prison for non-capitol crimes. Terrence grew up in […]

    May 23, 2017
  • “I pray I live long enough to have kids and grandkids…”

    Dear Richard 5-16-17 Hello, how are you doing? I pray that this letter finds your family doing well and in the best of health. I received your note and picture today. I enjoy looking at the pictures they look so real! Thank you for checking up on me. It’s always nice to hear from a […]

    May 23, 2017
  • “In the south, it was nothing for a black man robbing a white establishment to get life.”

    “My name is Lee Albert Ansley and I’m sixty-five years old. I’m from Jacksonville Florida. I’ve been around the block a few times. I’ve been an addict; I’ve been a fool. I’m here for a parole violation, but I’ve done a total of 38 years. I was raised by my mom and my big momma-my […]

    May 4, 2017
  • “Societies has to give opportunities”

    “ I’m 40 years old. I didn’t know what was going on. I was never there at the scene of the crime, but for some particular reason, they used an eyewitness and believed her testimony. I accumulated over 5000 days for good behavior, with the amount of time that I have already served, which is […]

    April 27, 2017
  • “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

    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