• 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
  • Continuum

    By Richard Ross Standing in rooms where people were tortured is a visceral experience. Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. The discussion then, 10 years past, was the fluid continuum–from discussion, interview, interrogation, then finally, torture. The terms were sometimes twisted—“enhanced interrogation”—but our descending from who we were to what we had become was unmistakable and chilling […]

    January 13, 2016
  • “I lost my freedom in detention!”

    This week, Juvenile In Justice concludes the features on two adults who spent much of their childhood lives in detention. Jose Vidrio shares his experience of being in and out of the juvenile justice system and the conditions of confinement, and touches on his achievements as an adult now.  ……………………….  by Jose Vidrio I was physically abused by my […]

    January 8, 2016
  • “I am very happy with my life now.”

    Over the next few weeks, Juvenile In Justice will feature the stories of two adults who spent much of their childhood lives in detention. This week, Amy Stephens-Vang shares her story of resilience and recovery. ……………………….  by Amy Stephens-Vang I moved to California when I was six years old. My parents are both alcoholics and drug addicts. […]

    December 17, 2015
  • Tribal Justice

    By Richard Ross I offer condolences this Thanksgiving—sending a note to the chief judge of the Yurok tribe.  The Yuroks are the largest tribe in California. 6500 people whose traditional lands are along the Klamath River. Many of the Yurok have no running water nor electricity. Roadside deer are not road kill, rather they are “harvest.” […]

    December 9, 2015

    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
  • 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
  • Finally

    By Richard Ross “I was in Isolation – the longest stretch was 80 days.”, said my friend Ronald Franklin, who was held for seven years and released about six weeks ago. His call came the same day as the passage of California SB 124, a bill that finally prevents kids in detention from being held in […]

    June 4, 2015
  • Images projected during FLEXN in New York

    From March 25th to April 4th, images and factoids from the Juvenile in Justice project were projected adjacent to Peter Sellar’s dance performance, FLEXN. See more info here: http://www.armoryonpark.org/programs_events/detail/flexn

    April 6, 2015
  • CNN Photo Essay + Interview: Girls behind bars tell their stories

    “For a ling time, I took pride in not prostituting. My last relapse, I started prostituting on my own,” said B.X., 18. “My mom and dad were both alcoholics. They owned a bar. I was left alone a lot. My mom was drunk when she found me on the street. I had run away. She […]

    March 26, 2015