Brothers Vinny and David stand together before a summer storm.

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July 2016 Featured Photographer of the Month

Vinny and David: Life and Incarceration of a Family

Isadora Kosofsky | New Mexico, United States

“Vinny and David” begins with Vinny, then 13, when he was incarcerated for stabbing his mother’s assailant, and shadows him and his older brother, David; focusing on the brothers’ lives in their family and community over four years in New Mexico.

While in juvenile detention, Vinny’s older brother David is incarcerated for an aggravated assault charge that he would later to be proven innocent on. After his father went to prison, David spent time in and out of foster care; eventually, at 14, David's mother, Eve, was given custody. David and Vinny have grown up in an environment of loss, yet yearn for love and a restored family.

Shortly after Vinny’s release, the court ordered that he live with his aunt. David, now age 23, and Vinny, now age 17, reside together, hoping to create the stable bonds they have always wanted. Vinny and David try to embrace their youth. Vinny describes David as a father figure, and David views Vinny as the only person who appreciates him.

For the past five years, I have documented the relationship among youth, families and confinement through multiple long-term projects in the American criminal justice system. “Vinny and David” is one project within a large body of work that probes love-loss intersections and seeks to shed a humanistic light on mass incarceration. 

Isadora Kosofsky 

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