Cover image for Juvenile
Rodríguez, Joseph.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : PowerHouse Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
164 unnumbered pages : chiefly illustrations ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV9104 .R623 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Although youth violence in inner cities in the US is declining, incarceration rates and prison terms are only getting higher and longer. Rodriguez, a former inmate himself, spent two years following youth caught up in the juvenile justice system, some on probation or house arrest, some struggling to find a job or complete their education, and others presently incarcerated. He also documented people who work in the juvenile justice system to see how these youth, faced with fewer and fewer second chances, struggle to change their lives. Illustrated with 100 b/w photos.

Author Notes

Authors Bio, not available

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

A former inmate himself, Rodriguez (East Side Stories: Gang Life in East L.A.) follows a variety of teenagers, judges, public defenders, district attorneys, probation officers and social workers who make up California's juvenile court system. Framed by a searing introduction by the former editor of YO! (Youth Outlook), and by a short account of Rodriguez's own experiences in jail, it's almost impossible to approach these stark and somber photos with any other emotion besides deep sadness at how much the juvenile court system has moved from minimal rehabilitation to something much worse. In this 9" x 9" collection (which unfortunately lacks page numbers) of 91 duotone photographs, Rodriguez slowly focuses on particular individuals-such as Lance, who escaped being prosecuted as an adult, at age 15, only a few years before Proposition 21, or Katrina, who appears both preternaturally old in full makeup, or heart-tuggingly young while playing solitaire on her bed. The restrictiveness, deprivation and uncaring bureaucracy that these teenagers face comes through in photos of the bareness of a prison cell, words scratched into the arms and legs of a self-mutilating teen or a counselor demonstrating how to make a ridiculously thin bed on top of a wooden table. As Bernstein says, "What fuels [Rodriguez's] photographs of young people behind bars and on the street is his ability to look with them," providing exactly the kind of humanizing that the present system is fast losing. Certainly one of the most moving photographs in the book is Rodriguez's own 1968 mug shot: rumpled and defiant, he is also very, very young. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

This fine documentary portrait reveals the lives of troubled teenagers who, on their way to growing up, have been shaped by dysfunctional families, run-ins with the law, temporary homes, arrests, and incarceration. Now a well-respected, award-winning, socially concerned photographer, Rodriguez (East Side Stories: Gang Life in East L.A.) himself spent time in prison as a young runaway delinquent. He understands the importance of making help available for those young men and women who, having seriously erred as he did, want to learn and work for better lives. A thoughtful introductory essay by California author Nell Bernstein (A Rage To Do Better: Listening to Young People from the Foster Care System) sets the background and tone for the comments, essays, and poems contributed by the young subjects as they struggle emotionally and intellectually to fulfil their goals; the 91 duotone photographs are a pleasure. This book will interest the general public and particularly those concerned about our society's attitude toward and treatment of young offenders.-Suzanne W. Wood, Emerita, SUNY Coll. of Technology at Alfred (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.