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Atlantic Documentaries

Life Inside Maximum-Security Juvenile Detention

Mar 01, 2018 | 69 videos
Video by The Atlantic

Marquez Jackson is serving a juvenile life sentence at Bon Air Correctional Center in Virginia for second-degree murder. Jackson lives in the maximum security side of Bon Air. “I get locked in my room every night,” he says. “Everything is about security here. I get searched every time I move.” Jackson will be at Bon Air until he turns 21. “The thing that makes me happy is just visualizing what I could be doing if I was home.”


This VR series from The Atlantic is part of a larger reporting project on juvenile justice reform in Virginia. As the population of incarcerated young people has declined, the state has closed all but one center, Bon Air. Approximately 200 inmates are serving out their sentences there, many of them far from their families and communities. Follow The Atlantic for more, including an inside look at Bon Air and perspectives from inmates, staff, and advocates.


These VR films explore firsthand experiences of three young people in the system. Blending interviews with 3-D animation, each film presents a perspective from a different stage in the detention process. For an optimal viewing experience, watch the film in VR180 with a VR headset.  


For more, see Life in an Alternative to Juvenile Detention and Life After Juvenile Detention.


Authors: Atthar Mirza, Nicolas Pollock

About This Series

Original short documentaries produced by The Atlantic