The photographs are also compiled in Ross’s book “Juvenile-in-Justice,” currently on sale at the KSU Bookstore, and a group of the images were published in Harper’s Magazine and awarded the 2012 National Magazine Award for News and Documentary Photography. The images were documented during visits Ross made over the course of five years with more than 1,000 youth confined in more than 200 juvenile detention institutions in 31 states.
The Center for Sustainable Journalism, which publishes Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, an online news site, and the KSU student chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists are presenting the exhibition with funding from SABAC, the Harnisch Foundation and in partnership with the Zuckerman Museum of Art.
“The incarceration of our youth is the civil rights issue of our time,” John Fleming, editor of JJIE, said. “The enormity of the psychological trauma that comes with locking young people into prisons is visible in the photos.”
Fleming describes what he believes to be one of the most disturbing photos: “There is a group of about 30 kids with their backs to the camera. They are in a sterile, depressing looking room. They are all wearing the same orange jumpsuits. Their heads are hung down. They all look hopeless.”
Fleming says Ross’ exhibit vividly portrays the lack of value that the nation places on its children. “The United States has more children incarcerated than any other place in the industrialized world,” he said.
“Juvenile-in-Justice” was organized by the Nevada Museum of Art, where it had the exclusive sponsorship of the Wilhelm Hoppe Family Trust. The exhibition is also a featured event of the citywide Atlanta Celebrates Photography Festival. The Art Gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, visit www.kennesaw.edu/arts/galleries/.