Joseph Rodriguez

Location: New York
Nationality: American
Biography: As a documentary photographer for over 25 years, my point of view has been to work slowly when it is possible. The domestic landscape of America has been my interest for the past two decades. Today I continue to work within the social documentary... read on
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on The New York Times: "Life After 17 to life"
joseph rodriguez
Apr 10, 2018
By Joseph Rodriguez and Nell Bernstein
Mr. Rodriguez is a photojournalist.
Ms. Bernstein is the author of a book about juvenile prison.

April 7, 2018

STOCKTON, Calif. "” In California, known for decades as one of the nation's most avid jailers, the trajectory of law and order is shifting. Through litigation, legislation and a series of ballot initiatives, the state's prison population has dropped 25 percent over the past decade.
The photographer Joseph Rodriguez has been documenting crime and punishment in California for years and recently focused his gaze on the migration home, in Stockton "” a barren outpost in California's Central Valley.
Gretchen Newby, executive director of the Stockton-based nonprofit Friends Outside, which provides support to prisoners and their families, said the city was experiencing a "cluster effect": Large-scale arrests two or three decades ago have combined with newly relaxed parole requirements, leading to the release of long-term prisoners back to the city. Those who have family tend to find their way. But long stretches behind bars leave many without support. "It's common to come out with untreated illness, chronic conditions due to age and neglect," Ms. Newby said. "How are they going to live?" Friends Outside case managers work to answer this question, lining up job interviews and transitional housing.

Opinion | Life After "˜17 to Life'
What it looks like to re-enter life in Stockton, Calif., after a long stint in prison.


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