School to Prison in Not So Many Words

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Via the ACLU of Mississippi:


— Eapen Thampy

Digg it |  reddit | |  Fark

35 Responses to “School to Prison in Not So Many Words”

  1. #1 |  Cynical in New York | 

    Fucking disgusting.

  2. #2 |  Bobby V | 

    Here is another way that the Mississippi education system fails its citizens:

    The people there will have full expectations that this kid will never commit a crime again. The people there will actually believe that locking a kid up in a room like that for several years will somehow magically decrease the chance of the kid being a repeat offender.

  3. #3 |  Chris Mallory | 

    You are right Cynical, this is disgusting. It is a staged photo designed to play on emotions. “Oh those ebil raaaaysssts in Mississippi are just pumping innocent young black childrunz into prison.” But hey, it lets yankees feel better about themselves, so it is all good.

  4. #4 |  MikeV | 

    Do you have some information on the setting for that photo or is that just speculation?

    The photo looks like it was posted originally here, and I didn’t see anything that indicated it was from Mississippi:

  5. #5 |  Marty | 

    heartbreaking. I’d like to see some background on this photo/person.

  6. #6 |  Wade | 

    Zooming in on the back of the jumpsuit, it looks like it could be stenciled “Rankin County Juvenile Detention”. Mississippi has a Rankin County.

    I don’t see it as any sort of indictment of Mississippi being particularly racist, but that’s because I have seen similarly constructed and maintained juvenile detention facilities in Virginia.

    The photo is striking (at least for me) because it puts the lie to statements people make about how humane and gentle the juvenile justice system is. Many who are unfamiliar with the system still believe that juveniles who are imprisoned are kept in places that are somehow more pleasant than adult prisons.

    While some states and localities make some efforts at treating juveniles differently, many do not.

  7. #7 |  OldGrump | 

    #3 – A reverse image search seems to indicate this wasn’t quite so staged:


    Google reverse image search:

    “A 12-year-old in his cell at the Harrison County Juvenile Detention Center in Biloxi, Mississippi. The window has been boarded up from the outside. The facility is operated by Mississippi Security Police, a private company. In 1982, a fire killed 27 prisoners and an ensuing lawsuit against the authorities forced them to reduce their population to maintain an 8:1 inmate to staff ratio.”

  8. #8 |  nobody | 

    Wow, google image search now does reverse lookup. Which led me to this –

    According to Wired, the photo was taken at Harrison County Juvenile Detention Center in Biloxi, Mississippi.

  9. #9 |  nobody | 

    I love that the window was boarded up from the outside. How quaint.

  10. #10 |  nobody | 

    And sorry for the string of posts, but here is more of the photographer’s work –

  11. #11 |  el coronado | 

    The ACLU post had interestingly scant (i.e., “none”) info as to why that kid was in that jail. I’d like to see some background on that myself. Was it jaywalking? Cutting class? Shoplifting? Or was it more like B&E? Assault & battery? Murder?

  12. #12 |  nobody | 

    Richard Ross’ page doesn’t say in that particular case, but it does say that the boy is 12 years old.

  13. #13 |  liberranter | 

    School to Prison in Not So Many Words

    Perhaps a more apt title would be “One Prison to Another in Not So Many Words.”

  14. #14 |  B Mac | 

    Great posts Nobody, thanks!

  15. #15 |  Frank Stein | 

    Not sure what we are supposed to take away from this – that non-whites who commit crimes before they reach the age of 18 should be sent to live with white liberals instead of placed in detention facilities?

  16. #16 |  David | 

    The takeaway is what it should always be. That we’re a monstrous society of cruel punitive hypocrites. If we weren’t, we wouldn’t send anyone to live in something like that.

    I won’t pretend to know how to handle those people who really do make life miserable and dangerous for the rest of us, but I can safely say that this isn’t it.

  17. #17 |  PersonFromPorlock | 

    So, how do we know the kid isn’t in there for the rape and axe-murder of two elderly nuns? Or alternately, sneaking a smoke in the boys’ room? The cell is surely bleak, but what’s just out of the frame? The makings of a junior college? Extensive skills training programs? Nothing but more bleakness, enlivened only by sadistic guards?

    The point is that while much can be read into the image, nothing can be read out of it.

  18. #18 |  nobody | 

    I highly recommend that those of you criticizing the image at least click through the links from my earlier posts. I’m quite certain that ‘The makings of a junior college’ are not just outside the frame of that photo.

  19. #19 |  el coronado | 

    Done that, Nobody. Not one word as to what the kid did to be there. Your point?

  20. #20 |  nobody | 

    Hey el coronado,

    As I said in post #12, I couldn’t find any information on what that kid did to be in Harrison County Juvenile Detention Center. However, the links I posted showed photos of other people in juvenile detention centers throughout the country. Inmates were being held for crimes ranging from drug possession to murder. There’s an anecdote from the director of a juvenile detention center in Reno Nevada who recalled an eight-year-old being brought in for taking a bagel.

    I was just trying to help people out. I agree that the ACLU post didn’t include any context. That is why I did the digging in the first place.

  21. #21 |  B Mac | 

    The photographer is probably not allowed to disclose a juvenile’s offense either by law (usually) or as part of the agreement to do the photos.

    And the point of the series isn’t to claim racism, since there are white children in the photo series.

    However, I did see in one of the other pics that children can get sent to that place for a parole violation, so they couldn’t have done anything THAT bad.

    David seems to sum it up nicely.

  22. #22 |  MikeV | 

    This seems to be the main site for all of the images in this series.

    Here is a look at it by state:

    Doesn’t look like they were after Mississippi in particular, but that image is one of the worst I saw.

  23. #23 |  En Passant | 

    #17 | PersonFromPorlock wrote August 29th, 2012 at 12:51 pm:

    So, how do we know the kid isn’t in there for the rape and axe-murder of two elderly nuns? Or alternately, sneaking a smoke in the boys’ room? The cell is surely bleak, but what’s just out of the frame? …

    I don’t think that either the offense or “what’s just out of the frame” matters.

    The kid is very young, pre-adolescent, definitely not adult. No matter what his crime, no child should be confined in that manner. I would go so far as to say neither should adults.

    I don’t think that I’m a bleeding heart liberal. I just don’t want to live in a medieval society.

  24. #24 |  Steve Verdon | 

    So can we tell Chirs Mallory to kindly F00k off now?

  25. #25 |  Danny | 

    We have a serious retard infestation today.


    Juvenile prisons, like adult prisons, don’t have separate facilities for people who are in for petty crimes and people who are in for serious crimes. The kid in the picture could be in for murder, or he could be in for stealing from the multiplex candy bins, or anything in between. Whatever it is, he ends up in the prison facility they have available. What you see pictured is the prison facility they have available, for whoever is being held.

    Somewhere down the line, a juvenile (or adult) might be moved to one or another facility according to “security classification,” but this is not solely determined by the seriousness of the offense, and a lower-security facility is no necessarily less “crappy” than a high-security facility. What you see pictured could be low security, and there might be a high security facility that looks a lot cleaner and better.


  26. #26 |  Steve Verdon | 


    Yeah, we get that…that is why it is, as Cynical in New York put it, fucking disgusting. To treat juvenile offenders as if they were all the same is repugnant.

    Seriously look at that picture. Is that kid a murderer? I don’t know. Did he simply swipe some candy from the multiplex? I don’t know. But that either way he ends up in that facility should bother anyone with even an ounce of rationality. Seriously…that is where we send preteen offenders for swiping candy bars?

  27. #27 |  Bobby Black | 

    I suppose some could have said this photo was to be a thinkpiece to see what one could read in it…but sitting back as a spectator, seeing what some of these folks read into it was a disturbing read into THEM. Takes all kinds.

  28. #28 |  demize! | 

    And the carnival of empathy deficiency is in full swing. Hold the corndog a little closer and you can see the bubbles in the batter.

  29. #29 |  el coronado | 

    Golly. You 2 guys are really just too too beautiful for this ugly world. Thank God we have you to look down on us, right?

  30. #30 |  Bobby Black | 

    Now I’m under you. Does that unbunch your panties?
    Show me more, you poor victim you. I’ll bring some woolite to your period party and you can have a real good cry as you make it all about you.

  31. #31 |  Frank Stein | 

    We should never lock any one up for anything! All they need is love, and to listen to Skrillex.

  32. #32 |  Steve Verdon | 

    Frank that was stoopid.

  33. #33 |  el coronado | 

    Lemme see if I got this straight, Bobby –

    First, the horrifyingly neanderthal nature of some of the comments here give you the vapors, and send you swooning into your fainting chair, as if your corset was too tight and making you lighheaded. Then when someone mocks out your pompously sanctimonious moaning, *they’re* the victim??

    You must have a very rich fantasy life, don’t you?

  34. #34 |  theCL Report: The Rot Runs Deep | 

    […] School to Prison in Not So Many Words […]

  35. #35 |  Caroline | 

    school is prison. not much difference except that at school they pretend there is.