Briefing Room


The Photography of Richard Ross

March 31, 2015 | Events

Get a glimpse inside the walls of the nation’s juvenile detention centers through the lens of photographer Richard Ross in exhibits Juvenile in Justice and Girls in Justice. The exhibits will be on display in the law library April 8-10, and document the placement and treatment of American juveniles housed by law in facilities that treat, confine, punish, assist, and, occasionally, harm them.

In addition to the exhibits, a conversation with the artist and reception are scheduled for Thursday, April 9, at 6:30 p.m.

For the last eight years, Juvenile in Justice has documented the U.S. juvenile justice system, bringing the public images from “the inside” along with first-person accounts of incarcerated youth. The collection includes images of more than 1,000 juveniles and administrators over 200 facilities in 31 states in the U.S. The hope is that by seeing these images, the public will have a better understanding of the conditions that exist inside.

Girls in Justice is the much anticipated follow-up to Juvenile in Justice, and turns the focus to girls in the system. With appallingly high rates of abuse in their histories, exploitation around every corner, and a very different set of needs once ‘inside,’ girls are brought into the juvenile justice system by a unique set of social forces and experience incarceration much differently than boys. Despite the overall decline of youth in the juvenile justice system, girls remain a growing share of the youth arrested, detained and committed.

Ross is an art professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He began the project nearly a decade ago after learning that kids as young as 10 were entering the system. What started as photojournalism grew into a multidisciplinary project– including a book with essays by Ira Glass of National Public Radio and Bart Lubow of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a traveling exhibition, and a lecture that has been delivered to judges, journalists, and advocates across the country.

Ross has published two books in connection to Juvenile in Justice. The traveling exhibitions of the work continue to see great success while Ross collaborates with juvenile justice stakeholders, using the images as a catalyst for change in the discussion about juvenile incarceration.

Click here to learn more about the Juvenile in Justice project. For more information about the event, contact event coordinator Ashley Wilson at

This event is sponsored by the Moritz College of Law, the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, The Ohio State University Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, The Ohio State University Criminal Justice Research Center, the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, and The Ohio State University College of Social Work.