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Born, Not Raised’ Explores The Links Between Development And Juvenile Crime

Above: An image from San Diego photojournalist, Susan Madden Lankford's new book, "Born, Not Raised: Voices From Juvenile Hall."

Aired 3/20/12 on KPBS Midday Edition.

Susan Madden Lankford, is a San Diego photojournalist, her new book, ""Born, Not Raised: Voices From Juvenile Hall," is the third part of a trilogy exposing the lives of America's downtrodden.

Transcript

KPBS Evening Edition

Susan Madden Lankford, Voices From Juvenile Hall

Above: Susan Madden Lankford, a San Diego photojournalist, talks about her new book, "Born, Not Raised: Voices From Juvenile Hall."

Kids who circle in and out of juvenile hall are mostly termed "at risk."

They are at risk of not finishing school, falling into a life of drug addiction or crime and winding up behind bars as adults. And more often than not, society seems not to know how to stop that sad progression.

In her new book, "Born, Not Raised: Voices From Juvenile Hall," photojournalist Susan Madden Lankford provides new insights into what's going on inside deeply troubled kids, and offers some surprising ideas about breaking the link between juvenile crime and adult criminality.

Lankford said she was not allowed to take cameras inside juvenile halls, so she "created photographs" and then asked children in the hall to write "what does this mean to you, how do you feel?"

She displays drawings children made in her book.

Lankford said some of the photos children drew made her feel "lost."

"One of the reasons why we wanted to do this book is we wanted people to see who these kids are, we want them to understand the trauma they have sustained in their lives," she said.

And because Lankford has spent time with some of the children's mothers, she said, "a lot of these kids are products of the women who were incarcerated in the local jail."

Later, while filming the documentary "It's More Expensive to Do Nothing," Lankford was allowed to bring in cameras, and shot the photo shown above of children exercising.

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