A photo exhibition focused on juvenile detention centers, the screening of a documentary on the lives of troubled young women, and a presentation on a prison art program will draw attention to issues surrounding the American juvenile justice system. The events, held in March, are presented in collaboration with Illinois State University’s 2016 Social Work Day Conference, which focuses on ways to keep youth out of the justice system.

Image of juvenile behind bars

Image from Richard Ross.

Juvenile in Justice, an exhibition of photos by Richard Ross, will be on display on the main floor of Illinois State’s Milner Library from March 14 to April 8. Ross’ photographs document the life and treatment of youth placed in detention centers. Ross’ work on the juvenile justice system has gained national attention and his photos have been published on CNN, the PBS Newshour, Wired.com and Harper’s Magazine. Exhibition of the photos at Milner Library is made possible by grant funding from the Sage Trust.

A screening of the documentary film Girl Trouble will be at 4:30 p.m. March 14, in the University Galleries in Uptown Station. A panel discussion of issues raised by the film will follow the screening. Girl Trouble, by filmmakers Lexi Leban and Lidia Szajko, was shot over the course of four years and follows the stories of three teenage girls struggling to free themselves from San Francisco’s juvenile justice system.

Sarah Ross, program coordinator for the Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project, will speak about that organization’s work at noon on March 29, in the University Galleries in Uptown Station. The Prison + Neighborhood Arts Project is a visual arts and humanities program that connects teaching artists and scholars with men at Stateville maximum security prison through classes, workshops, and guest lectures. The program offers classes on subjects ranging from poetry, visual arts, and film study to political theory, social studies, and history. Funding for Ross’ presentation at Illinois State is provided by the Sage Trust and the School of Art Visiting Artist Program.