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Uncompromising Photos Expose Juvenile Detention in America

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posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 04:58 PM

On any given night in the U.S., there are approximately 60,500 youth confined in juvenile correctional facilities or other residential programs. Photographer Richard Ross has spent the past five years criss-crossing the country photographing the architecture, cells, classrooms and inhabitants of these detention sites. 4/photog-hopes-to-effect-polic

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 05:01 PM
I thought this would be the best place for this article, if not please move.

When I think of Juveniles I had an image in my head. The image is now different.

I know there are lots of issues but this seems incorrect.

What do you guys think?

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 05:09 PM
Well, I'll temper this with my knee jerk reaction to immedately ask what the "poor boy" in the photo did to earn that room and how much I should or shouldn't sympathize as a result. Did his mother just choose loserville and toss the poor kid off to the system? Or...would that be one of the young animal predators we read doing absolutely horrific things to victims before giving the mercy of the killing?

To temper...I'll just look at the other side you're mentioning and say first, some things have no business every being made private or with profit being anywhere in the picture for a factor. Prisons fall into that so well they might just define the category. I can't think of a worse example for Capitalist profit motive than a setting where human beings have no rights and are a 100% captive audience. The Government isn't who I look to for much more than headaches and bad ideas....BUT..on some things..they're the only solution. Police and Prisons? Oh yeah.... Absolutely not a private thing.

On the other part...about throwing generations away... Well, I'd note the Juvie system suffers the same thing the Adult system does. The result is just so much more tragic. We mix the animals with the offenders who made a mistake and are scared witless. VERY able to be rehabilitated and corrected. Of course...that only lasts until the predators have beat them a few times with no help coming...or raped them a few times with similar result. Separate the kids with hope from the animals we need to warehouse and I'll bet we have FAR more kids take the second chance offered and run with it.

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 05:11 PM
The 1st image is of a 12 year old boy, same age as my son and it reduced me to tears...not like the oh that's so sad tears but gut wrenching. I'd have looked anyway but you should add a warning to your OP. To me it is a heartbreaking reminder of how everything, parents, schools, society fails some kids. I just can't think of how cell like that can correct a 12 year old's behavior. Seems more like it would turn him into a sociopath.

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 05:13 PM
Wow...looks like prison to me!

Well actually you have quite a bit more in prison...t.v., hot pot, shampoo, deodorant, commissary, maybe a bit worse than a medium security prison!

Frightening reality for the youth offenders if they continue with the criminal thinking...they may spend most or all of their lives in places like this!

Sobering for sure!

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 05:19 PM
Where the young soul goes to die. How are places like that going to reform anyone?

The U.S. locks up children at more than six times the rate of all other developed nations. The over 60,000 average daily juvenile lockups, a figure estimated by the Annie E. Casey Foundation (AECF), are also disproportionately young people of color. With an average cost of $80,000 per year to lock up a child, the U.S. spends more than $5 billion annually on youth detention.

edit on 11-4-2012 by RealSpoke because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 05:23 PM
Many of these kids are thrown in Juvy for repeated drug and underage drinking abuses; I think it's a three-strike policy, with fines, probation, and community service resulting from the first two offenses then the threat of house arrest and Juvy after the third. The more extreme cases tend to be theft, assault, arson, and obviously murder, though, as it is with prisons, most of the inmates are there for drug charges.

Regardless, it's a pretty horrible environment, not much different from jail and prison. Growing up my friend got in trouble with the law a lot; he eventually got a 6 month Juvy sentence and told me how terrible the living conditions are and how badly inmates are treated.

The entire justice and corrections system needs a do-over. America literally has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 05:24 PM
reply to post by bharata

I work in the Juvinile Justice division for my state. I have been doing this for 12 years. The conditions are horrible. HORRIBLE!!! The facility I was working at last was a 100 year old hospital of sorts. I would say 90 percent of the food was expired or near date.


The aformentioned circumstances are do to lack of budget or proper budgeting. When a CEO of a sub-contaractor is making more then the commish of DYS. Enough said.

A typical program meal budget per day per kid is 1 usd. or .33 cents a meal. That is a real stat. I do the budget.

I am horribly underpaid and have to work 65 hours a week to feed my family. Because of that I can't be the best at my job because i am in a state of constant burn out.

So wrap all that up in a pretty package and you get the life of one who wroks or resides in a program for kids.

Some say tough. Don't get locked up. If you do it ain't no camp cupcake. BUT that is not the case either because of the politics or the dynamics whatever you prefer. Nothing will get accomplished. Why because half want to discipline the kids and the other half want to treat and each side is too busy trying to prove that theoir way is the best they lose sight of whats really important... Educvation and rehabilitation. I could write an entire book on the subject.

Apologies for a not to focused rant.

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 05:25 PM
reply to post by RealSpoke

On this one? You and I are in total, complete and unqualified agreement on. They don't reform anyone. Despite some conjecture by some.. I haven't "done time".. Just 12 hours in a holding tank for something I won't get into half a lifetime ago. You're right though..even that little I saw first hand explained some of what I saw in friends who went for months and came back so different.

Our prisons and Juvie centers SHOULD reform. They COULD help. What they actually do is serve as finishing school and higher education for the criminal class. Er..... kinda self defeating, huh?

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 05:30 PM

Originally posted by Kali74
I just can't think of how cell like that can correct a 12 year old's behavior.

It cant. It wont.

Every year, juvenile courts in the U.S. handle an estimated 1.6 million cases in which the youth was charged with a delinquency offense.

After arrest, many youth are detained in a detention or residential facility to await a hearing in juvenile or adult court, depending on how they are charged. While in out-of-home placement, youth are separated from their community and their normal day-to-day life (school, jobs, family, etc.). One out of every five youth who are brought before the court with a delinquency case is placed in a juvenile detention facility. Detention facilities are meant to temporarily house youth who are likely to commit another crime before their trial or who are likely to skip their court date. Unfortunately, many of the youth held in the 591 detention centers across the country do not meet these criteria and should not be there. Seventy percent of youth in detention are held for nonviolent charges. More than two-thirds are charged with property offenses, public order offenses, technical probation violations, or status offenses (crimes that wouldn't be crimes if they were adults, like running away or breaking curfew). The overuse of detention is particularly harsh on youth of color. In 2003, African-American youth were detained at a rate 4.5 times higher than whites. Latino youth were detained at twice the rate of whites. A one-day snapshot of juvenile offenders in detention found that roughly 3% were status offenders. After adjudication, many youth are sentenced to juvenile correctional facilities or state training schools. On any given day, over 65,000 youth are incarcerated in juvenile correctional facilities. Approximately half of these youth are committed to an incarceration facility such as a state training school. There are less severe alternatives to incarcerating youth, and they work. Community-based programs, including diversion programs, drug treatment, evening reporting centers, treatment clinics and family programs have been shown to be less costly than detention or incarceration and to help youth stay out of trouble and to not re-offend.

Juvenile Justice System

Sad really.

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 05:32 PM
reply to post by bharata

Our justice system is completely screwed up.. some kids deserve jail.. the killers, the rapist, the extraordinarily violent.

But most kids seem to be locked up for petty thing and given ridiculous sentences. Same goes for adults..

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 05:35 PM
reply to post by sonnny1

I just want to hug them all, it sounds so sappy and bleeding heart...I don't care. Someone needs to love those kids maybe they'd have made better choices if they had been to begin with.

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 05:41 PM
I find it funny that in a system that's supposed to be designed for rehabilitation has rooms that are more stark and properly prison looking than those in maximum security prison full of high functioning animals.

But, as they say, you're more or less literally not a person in this country until you're 18.

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 05:43 PM

Originally posted by Kali74
reply to post by sonnny1

I just want to hug them all, it sounds so sappy and bleeding heart...I don't care. Someone needs to love those kids maybe they'd have made better choices if they had been to begin with.

I agree 100% actually. Children need Love,and strong Father figures and strong Mother figures in their life. I would bet,most of these kids have one parent,and the one parent has time to only work,even if that. Single parents need to be extra vigilant,have to give extra love and support. Its hard,but can be done,if your mind is set on it. We dont have to agree on politics,or mundane everyday life things,but when it comes to the Worlds youth,EVERYONE needs to step up,and love our future generation.I suggest those who find these pictures heartbreaking join a Big Brothers Big Sisters near you. Trust me,these are the exact type of children,that find their way into these places.

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 05:52 PM
reply to post by sonnny1

My son has a mentor because his dad's not around. I love my job because it's not the typical sterile childcare center, we're actually encouraged to give hugs and say I love you.

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 05:56 PM
You know it's a fine line...

Headlines like up on ATS make me think there really is no other place for children like this...unfortunately!

In a case in Nevada...a 15 year old girl killed both her parents because they took her cell phone away...I'm sure we can blame the parents...but in murder inherent...a learned the point a person commits a murder...does it really matter why after that!

I feel for a lot of these kids...but some of them are right where they belong!

Not a favorable opinion...I know...but it's a different world then it was...and by the time a kid is 16...they're doing things that 25 year old adults are what do you do with them at that point?

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 06:03 PM
Wow good post with very powerful pictures, all I can say from the read and photos that this is not right....
Unless the kid killed a family in cold blood what the heck is he doing there in a molding cell with a bed that sags to the floor?

Who the hell is going to help him now or later I ask?
S&F and terribly disturbed here.
Regards, Iwinder

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 06:07 PM
reply to post by Kali74

That's awesome,that someone is stepping up for your son Kali. Rightfully so,actually. I also have women that have stepped up,and helped me with my children. I am very aware how a 13 year old girl feels about things,she might not feel "comfortable" talking about with her dad,at times.
I also volunteer with helping children. I might not have everything,but help is something I have plenty of. Having an extra kid,to pal around with my kids,or giving support on the weekends,when a child is most likely to get in trouble,is one way of combating this type of systematic warehousing of the youth today. I wish more parents would do it. For those who believe these children NEED this type of environment,I suggest you do some soul searching,and try helping,instead of saying this is where they belong. The statistics are there for you to see. 3/4 of these kids,are NOT the average murder,or criminal.

edit on 11-4-2012 by sonnny1 because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 06:08 PM
I spent close to 4 years in the Juvenile system in Pennsylvania for a crime I never committed. Some of these pics remind me of my childhood.

The juvenile system is a mess. The best way I can describe it is that they take at risk kids, and place them with kids who have crossed the line. For the at risk kids, it is a push in the wrong direction.

posted on Apr, 11 2012 @ 06:24 PM
Here is an interactive map of sorts of images from the different states Richard Ross took the photos.

was hoping for Ohio, no luck.

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