Photographer Spends Day in “Dehumanizing” Juvenile Detention


Photographer Richard Ross spent 24 hours in solitary confinement at a juvenile detention center to experience what it was like, reports Wired. Over six years, Ross has photographed hundreds of detention centers and interviewed more than a 1,000 children for a project called Juvenile-in-Justice that aims to educate people about the juvenile justice system. “How do you understand this unless you go through it?” he says. He adds, “It is not enough to interview children from across a barren room. You have to hear the echoes, shiver in the cold, shelter from the random light, beg for any filtered daylight, taste the texture of the food, smell the warm milk and the urine, and hope for a reasonable allotment of toilet paper.” Ross, a professor at the University of California Santa Barbara, convinced a juvenile detention center to let him spend a full day in an isolation cell. He had a digital camera and an intervalometer in the corner of the cell took a picture every seven seconds to record his stay. “It was unbelievably dehumanizing,” he says.

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