GUEST: Richard Ross is a photographer, researcher and Distinguished Professor of art at the University of California, Santa Barbara, California. His most recent work is the In Justice series, which documents the lives of incarcerated juveniles. The series includes Juvenile in Justice, and Girls in Justice.
It is a shameful fact in the US that we imprison children. In fact the US locks up more young people at a greater rate than any other industrialized nation. We spend hundreds of millions of dollars on locking up minors, far more than we do on educating youth. We send black and brown kids to prison far more often for the same infractions as white kids. And, we ensure that imprisoned youth are far more likely to end up back in prison than if they were never arrested.
It’s one thing to hear these facts and figures. It’s another thing to see the children themselves, locked in barbaric conditions, isolated from the world, many struggling with mental health problems. My guest Richard Ross has seen incarcerated American kids first hand and has photographed them to help draw attention to their plight.
To learn more about this issue, visit www.juvenile-justice.com.