"Justice in the conduct and life of the State is possible only as first it resides in the hearts and souls of the citizens."—Plato
Although we do not hear enough about it, there are more than 70,000 juveniles presently incarcerated in the United States. Richard Ross, a Professor/photographer at the University of California Santa Barbara, has spent more than five years in over 300 facilites in 31 states documenting, interviewing, and photographing what we do to young people in this country. This project, Juvenile-in-Justice, and the accompanying book offer a sobering analysis of how we administer justice in the USA.
Ross’s skills as a photographer are quite evident throughout his work. While these images may on the surface appear perfectly composed and cooly detached, they are, in fact, indictments of injustice. This rich alchemy of beauty and indignation gives these images their power and resonance.
Juvenile-in-Justice is on view in NYC at Ronald Feldman Fine Arts until Saturday, and then moves on to the LA Municipal Art Gallery. For an excellent and poignant overview of the project, this video is required viewing. --Lane Nevares