Our Mission


Juvenile-in-justice.com has put the face on juveniles in the justice system.

While data is undeniably important, locating the numbers in the context of a real child is critical to creating empathy.

Lives can be measured, but don’t resonate, in the sterile fluorescence of numbers, charts and trends.

Data yearns to be articulated in the human experience in fragile voice and portrait to be truly understood and effectively used.

Juvenile-in-Justice is a collection of images, interviews, audio documents, and texts created over a dozen years, at 300 sites in 35 states, drawn from the lives of more than 1,000 kids.

We work with educational institutions and non-profits to better understand and/or explain the needs, policies, strategies, and resources required to facilitate better outcomes for the 53,000+ children in custody every day.

Our work humanizes cold statistics by exploring the lifeworlds of children in the system.

We are the storytellers.

The project has been generously supported by grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation.



Richard Ross is an artist/activist/photographer, distinguished research professor of art based in Santa Barbara, California. As the creator of Juvenile-in-Justice, his work turns a lens on the placement and treatment of American juveniles housed by law in facilities that treat, confine, punish, assist and, occasionally, harm them. Ross has been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, MacArthur and the Center for Cultural Innovation. Ross was awarded both Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships. Three books and traveling exhibitions of the work continue to see great success while Ross collaborates with juvenile justice stakeholders, using the images as a catalyst for change.


Richard Ross
Executive Director