• [Equal Voice] A Look at Life Inside Youth Jails 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 […] November 3, 2015
  • “My stomach was telling me one thing, but my mind was telling me another.” My father is Muslim. He lives in Northeast. I was living with my mom, grandmother, and 14-year-old little brother. My parents separated when I was younger. My mom kicked me out and put me on the streets when I was 15. She said, “You don’t live here anymore.” My grandfather died when he was 60, […] October 21, 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
  • “Now I’m growing up.” I’ve been here four or five years. I would go to regular school. I would live with my mom, three sisters and two brothers. Then I started running hallways when I was supposed to be in class. I would start trouble. I would get into fights. Kids like to bully me about little stuff, about […] June 3, 2015
  • “I’m just waiting for someone to help me.” Right now I’m on the move. I’m just waiting for someone to help me. My dad is trying to get a home so he can pick me up. Me and my mom don’t really talk. I’ve been here over a year. I was 13 when I first came into the system. I was originally in […] May 27, 2015
  • “I couldn’t stay in the house.” I was in foster care since 10th grade. I’ve been here a year. It’s boring. I was at a group home for a while, but she wasn’t feeding me there. I went out and stole food. She wasn’t treating me right. I couldn’t stay in the house. I was locked up a while for robbery. […] May 20, 2015
  • “Everything there was horrible.” Soon I’m going to be 18. I’m black, Spanish, Jamaican and Guinanese. My mom’s a great cook. She’s makes yam and mac and cheese. I’ve been here about a year. I’m going to be discharged soon. I started getting into trouble when I was 16. I was coming home late, violating curfew, not listening to […] May 13, 2015
  • “I opened the door and there he was dead.” She had me going to the store to steal bread and milk. I’ve been here three months. This is my third time here. I was 13 when I came the first time. I had a curfew violation. For three days I didn’t come home to my house. My parents didn’t know where I was. I […] May 6, 2015
  • “They’re giving me another chance.” I was with three kids and they did an armed robbery. This was my third offense. They’re giving me another chance. I’m moving across town. My mind is set on one thing and one thing only: to achieve my goals. I don’t know how they got a gun and how it got into the robbery. […] April 22, 2015
  • “Kids were talking trash about my dad. . .” I’m in sixth grade but I’ve been held back. I was born in Fresno. I moved back here when I was 9. There’s a lot of gangbanging in Fresno. My auntie and cousins lived here and my mom decided to move here with my brother, sister and grandmother. My dad is deceased. He died of […] April 15, 2015
  • “I don’t want anyone to play me like I’m weak. . .” This is my second time in. I live with my grandma who’s 50 and my mom who is 32. My dad was shot dead when I was 8. They had his funeral on my birthday. It was an altercation. I don’t know what it is about. I live with my grandmother. She has legal custody. […] April 8, 2015
  • “We almost starved to death.” This is the second time I’m here. I’ve been here three months now. The first time I was 15 and here for a month. I got tired of the stuff at home so I ran away. I survived by breaking into houses. So I’m here mostly for B&E and burglary. I live with my mom […] April 1, 2015