We are currently in the midst of a national movement to end the solitary confinement of children. In January 2016, President Obama banned solitary confinement of juveniles in federal facilities and highlighted the physical, emotional and social harms the practice inflicts on children. Many jurisdictions have since followed suit, prohibiting or greatly restricting the practice of solitary confinement for juveniles. However, solitary confinement is still routinely employed in a majority of states.
InLiquid, Juvenile Law Center, and Richard Ross are collaborating on multi-site exhibitions of Ross’ photographs, which document the incarceration of children in the U.S. This exhibit at Eastern State included five select images from his Juvenile In Justice series paired with a collection of audio recordings of Ross’ personal interviews with detained youth. Youths’ firsthand descriptions of detention and solitary confinement complemented the raw and eerily beautiful images, providing a moving, immersive experience of what it is like to grow up confined.