Juvenile In Justice: Richard Ross

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Currently, there are more than 70,500 imprisoned youth in the United States. More shocking than that is the fact that kids as young as 7 are housed in juvenile detention centers. Richard Ross has spent the last several years touring more than 300 prison sites in 30 states and interviewed more than a thousand kids, with a hope to offer “visual evidence of a system that desperately needs reform, revealing an aspect of American society that is rarely seen or understood.” Juvenile In Justice takes us behind the closed and locked doors that are not open to most. Wanting to give these children a voice without showing their faces, Ross treated each person he met with respect, asking permission before entering their cell and often sitting on the floor to give them more of a sense of control over the situation. He never took photographs without asking, and, although sometimes the kids said no, more often than not they allowed it. This extensive project has turned into a book and an exhibition, which has traveled around the country. The images show a huge cross-section of correctional facilities, as well as the children that inhabit them, and though not a popular subject for many, Ross says, “If the work ends up in the right policymaker’s hands, even if it is three or four people, it is worth the effort.” Powerful stuff.

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[via CBS]

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