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2019 SPE Annual Conference: The Myths of Photography and the American Dream / Major support by The Joy Family Legacy Foundation

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Past SPE Annual Conferences

Zora Murff

SPE Member since 2013
Member Chapter: Midwest


From 2012 to 2015, I worked as a Tracker for Linn County Juvenile Detention and Diversion Services in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. As a Tracker, I provided services to youths who were convicted of crimes, adjudicated, and subsequently ordered to complete probation. Juveniles in my charge were asked to comply with services which may include: electronic monitoring, therapies, drug screening, and community service; it was my responsibility to have continual contact with them to ensure these expectations are met.

Tracking and other similar community-based services are being increasingly used as an alternative to detention facilities. These services, which allow juveniles to stay in their homes, show a higher rate of success than strict incarceration. Although community-based services are built to foster a collaborative relationship between juveniles and service providers, attaining the actualization of teamwork becomes problematic when juveniles feel that they have done nothing wrong, are victims of circumstance, or do not fully understand why they have committed a crime. The system has been put in place to provide rehabilitation, but it is far from being a straightforward process. Many influences outside of the youths' control such as education, socioeconomic status, and race all play a role in whether or not a youth reoffends - all of these factors possessing the propensity to lead them to extended periods of incarceration in the juvenile system or to involvement with the criminal justice system as an adult.

By reconsidering the role that I played in the lives of the kids I worked with, I began to acknowledge the burden that comes with tasking young men and women with continued complicity. My stance as a consequence kept our relationships in a state of flux ranging from stable to tenuous

Earl at 15

Lucas at 15

Omnilink Electronic Monitoring Unit


Age 17 (Waived)

Marcus at 16

Attempted Murder, Going Armed with Intent, Intimidation with a Dangerous Weapon, Willful Injury Causing Serious Injury

Earl at 15

Jerome at 15

Standard Issue: Jumpsuit

Jaeshawn at 16

Assault on a Peace Officer and Disorderly Conduct

Memphis at 16

Wendy at 14 and Sheila at 15

Standard Issue: Hair Care

Standard Issue: Oral Hygiene

Criminal Trespassing and Disorderly Conduct

Close To Home

Standard Issue: Sandals

Demetrius and Frank at 15

Kenny at 19

Megan at 16

Sheila at 16 (Off Paper)

Earl's Bed (Hickory Pod)

Age 19 (Reoffended As An Adult)

Dillon at 18 (Off Paper)

My Goals


On Run

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