Until Sunday 3 November 2024



Our latest exhibition, ‘Juvenile In Justice’, is an exploration of the lives of young people living in prison in the USA. Combining photographs and first-hand testimonials, the Juvenile In Justice exhibition provides a unique insight into the lived experiences and realities of young people impacted by the juvenile criminal justice system. The exhibition highlights the work of Californian artist and activist, Richard Ross, who has visited over 300 youth detention sites in over 35 states and has documented the lives of more than 1,000 young people.

Working co-productively, we shared images from Richard Ross’ collection with Breaking Barriers Building Bridges groups of young people across Nottingham and those detained in Swinfen Hall Young Offenders Institution, who offered their own creative responses and words of compassion and hope.

The young people within the photos are people who have no voice, from families that have few resources in communities that have little power. Whilst not shying from the fact that some of the children have been accused of doing some terrible acts, Juvenile In Justice explores whether there are better ways to treat each other.

Playing within the exhibition is a short film directed by award-winning film maker, Bukola Bakinson. ‘No Comprendo’, translating to “I don’t understand”, is an authored documentary regarding the experiences of individuals and their stories within the justice system. It focus’s on the language used in court, here in the UK and how the quality of communication has affected those convicted.

Throughout history, the UK and USA have influenced each other’s approaches to the detention of young people. However, data can only tell us part of the picture, and it doesn’t account for the lived experiences of the real child to place statistics in context.

Richard Ross has spent nearly two decades documenting the lives and stories of incarcerated young people the USA. Through his works the National Justice Museum invites visitors to consider the experiences of the young people in both continents in an exhibition of Ross’ powerful photographs and ask, what can you do to turn the tide of Juvenile In Justice.

Richard Ross is an artist/activist/photographer, and a distinguished research professor of art based in Santa Barbara, California. As the creator of Juvenile-in-Justice, his work turns a lens on the placement and treatment of American juveniles housed by law facilities that treat, confine, punish, assist and, occasionally, harm them. Ross has been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, MacArthur, Public Welfare Foundation, and the Center for Cultural Innovation. He was awarded both Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellowships. Three books and travelling exhibitions of the work continue to see great success while he collaborates with juvenile justice stakeholders, using the images as a catalyst for change.

Visit our free gallery space find out more. Pick up a free gallery guide, and share your images and thoughts online by tagging @NJMIdeas

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