Richard Ross

Juveline in Justice

1. A 15-year-old girl on suicide watch, under constant surveillance. In this behavior unit the residents become extremely jumpy and verbal when any event breaks their routine. At the moment all the girls are in their cells. In the entire facility, approximately 75 percent of the population have mental health needs, and of these, 67 percent take psychotropic medication. The construction paper names on the wall celebrate the corrections officers that work the unit. Macon Youth Development Campus, Macon, Georgia.

2. I’m doing my “seg time.” I spend all day and all night in here. No mattress, no sheets, and I get all my meals through this slot. — J., age 16, in a segregation cell in South Bend Juvenile Correctional Facility, South Bend, Indiana.

3. South Bend Juvenile Correctional Facility, South Bend, Indiana.


5. Giddings State School, in Giddings, Texas houses 320 juveniles and three types of offenders— capital and violent offenses, sexual offenses, and chemical and substance dependency.

6. The “Wall of Shame,” at Miami-Dade Regional Juvenile Detention Center, Miami, Florida: mug shots of kids that were released from the center and killed by gunshot wounds. “Expired” here indicates “deceased.”

7. Probation hearing room at Ventura Youth Correctional Facility, Camarillo, California

8. Control room at Racine Detention Facility, Racine, Wisconsin Twenty-three young men, undersupervised, at Orleans Parish Prison, Louisiana. There was a fight the night before, so staff has taken away privileges of TV, cards, and dominoes. The air conditioner is broken and it is August in New Orleans.

9. I was with a group of guys when I was 13. We jumped this guy near the lake. We got about $400. They gave me the gun ’cause I was the youngest. I been in Juno cottage for two years. I was coming back from the med unit with a homie and we broke into the canteen through a window and ate all the candy bars we could find. He got sick and we only had a five-minute pass so they caught us. I got sent to Valis but got played by a staff there so they sent me here to Martin. —S.T., age 15 Ethan Allen School, Wales, Wisconsin.

10. This is the first time I am here, ever. They are charging me with armed burglary of a residence. —K.T., age 16 Turner Guilford Knight (TGK) Correctional Center in Miami, Florida.

O hey it’s Richard Ross! He’s one of the professors in the art department here at UCSB. His talks about his work are amazing and super inspirational. And insanely depressing. The injustice is insane. I really encourage everyone to check out his work.



Studies have shown that bacteriophages (viruses that attack bacteria) are numerically the most abundant biological entities on the planet. [Bacteria themselves are the most abundant life form.]

In shotgun sequencing of marine samples, the majority of phage gene sequences are invariably found to be novel (that is, they don’t correspond to any already known gene sequences).

Hence, the bulk of genetic diversity on the planet may well be tied up in viral/phage “dark matter.” (source)

Phages are quite specific. They attack only the strain of bacteria they evolved to inhabit and kill. And they only attack bacteria: other types of organisms lack the receptors required for phage infection.  

No currently known bacteria are unaffected by phages. (This isn’t saying a lot, since we now know that most bacteria aren’t able to be studied in lab conditions.)

  • [Image 1] Phages first attach to and puncture the bacterial membrane. Phage DNA is injected into the host cell. © Medi-Mation Ltd/Science Source
  • [Image 2] The host cell’s DNA transcription is suppressed, and phage-specific proteins are synthesized instead. © Medi-Mation Ltd/Science Source
  • [Image 3] New phages are assembled, the host cell membrane is disrupted, and large numbers of new phages are released from the host bacterium, which dies. © Medi-Mation Ltd/Science Source

There are somewhere between 1030 and 1032 phages in the biosphere.
It’s estimated that there are 
1023 phage infections of bacteria every second.

In the course of any given 48 hour period, about half the total number of bacteria then living are destroyed by phages. This dynamic occurs in all ecosystems.

Phages have infected bacteria for billions of years, and just as bacteria mutate to resist drugs, they also mutate to render phages ineffective. However, new phages continually evolve against the mutated bacteria.

SOURCE: Environmental Health Perspectives