The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the dangers of the juvenile legal system; this should make it harder to look away from the societal inequities that are exacerbated by youth incarceration. Indeed, the current moment, including the unprecedented nationwide protests in response to the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in summer 2020, has illuminated the power of social movements working to abolish the prison industrial complex, and, as legal scholars have argued, lawyers and law professors should engage with these movements and their calls for abolition and transformative change. Yet conversations on abolition are mainly centered on adult prisons. While appreciating and supporting the call for abolishing adult prisons, the absence of youth incarceration from abolitionist movements and discourse is concerning given the violence and disparities that are reflected in youth incarceration. Furthermore, despite earlier calls to consider abolishing the juvenile legal system, a sustained engagement with abolitionist theory and the juvenile punishment system has not featured in the legal scholarship. This Article discusses the urgent need to abolish youth incarceration in the context of a global pandemic, surveys arguments for abolition generally, and sets forth an abolitionist critique of youth incarceration using Disability Critical Race Theory (DisCrit) as a lens for analysis. Applying a DisCrit lens, we discuss how COVID-19 demonstrates the urgency of addressing the harms facing incarcerated youth, particularly Youth of Color and disabled Youth of Color.
Beth Caldwell∞ Abstract This article presents findings from a study on the implementation of California’s new Youth Offender Parole Hearing law, which aims to provide juvenile offenders with meaningful opportunities to obtain release from adult prison. It contributes to the
Beyond “Criminal Justice Reform”: Conversations on Police and Prison Abolition Friday, October 14, 2016 NYU Law, Lipton Hall This colloquium featured a series of intersectional talks given by four community organizers, a movement lawyer, a poet, and a scholar who
Ian M. Kysel∞ Abstract The solitary confinement of children is remarkably commonplace in the United States, with the best available government data suggesting that thousands of children across the country are subjected to the practice each year. Physical and social
The kid’s name was Lil’ Yo—well, that’s what all his little buddies called him—and immediately his presence snagged my attention.