Juvenile-in-Justice is a project to document the placement and treatment of American juveniles housed by law in facilities that treat, confine, punish, assist and, occasionally, harm them.

The project includes images of over 1,000 juveniles and administrators over 200 facilities in 31 states in the U.S, plus extensive information collected from interviews. The hope is that by seeing these images, people will have a better understanding of the conditions that exist. Children’s identities are always protected and faces are never shown. Approximately 90,000 young people are in detention or correctional facilities every day in the United States. According to the American Correctional Association, the average cost to incarcerate a juvenile for a 9-12 month period is between $66,000 and $88,000. In California, the cost is $224,712.

Juvenile-in-Justice is the primary source for images of the American juvenile justice system, which are made available to all facilities and non-profits aimed at youth justice system reform– including the Annie E. Casey FoundationCampaign for Youth Justice, Equal Justice Initiative, Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange. The project has been supported by grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the Center for Cultural Innovation.

–Richard Ross


Richard Ross' recent work involves photographing juveniles in custody all over the country. His images have been presented before U.S. Senate committees and by advocacy groups arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Ross’ photographs have been exhibited worldwide and featured in publications, including the New York Times, Time, Newsweek, Wired, Harpers, and Le Monde. He is the author of a dozen books including Museology (Aperture Press 1990), Waiting for the End of the World (Princeton Architectural Press 2003), Architecture of Authority (Aperture 2006) and the upcoming Juvenile-in-Justice. He was principal photographer for the Getty Museum for more than a decade.