Shawnee County has started feeding its juvenile inmates more after finding their behavior improves when portion sizes increase.
As a test, in July, the Shawnee County Juvenile Detention Center began doubling the size of the meals it serves to the 10- to 17-year-olds incarcerated there. The center also replaced each evening's sugary snack with fresh fruit.
Staff members saw a noticeable improvement in the behavior and educational program performance of young inmates.
There are about 70,000 young people in juvenile detention centers or correctional faculties in the United States. Richard Ross spent the past seven years documenting the lives of American juveniles who have been housed in these facilities that treat, confine, punish, assist, and, occasionally, harm them. The culmination of this work is a project titled Juvenile in Justice at the Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University.