This event is hosted by the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery. The original event post is here.
A New Normal or Old Status Quo: Youth Justice in a Post-Pandemic World
Nathaniel R. Balis, Director, Juvenile Justice Strategy Group at Annie E. Casey Foundation
Over the last quarter century, America’s
juvenile justice system has changed in profound ways. While politicians
in the 1990s fretted about the since-debunked myth of the “juvenile
super-predator” and responded with harsher laws for kids in virtually
every state in the country, youth crime had already started its steady
and sometimes sharp decline. Prior to the pandemic, youth arrests and
youth confinement had plummeted, all while research offered
practitioners and policymakers a wealth of information about the
adolescent brain and what works in supporting young people, and yet
racial disparities only got worse, with Black youth bearing the brunt of
the system’s punitive practices. In the early months of the pandemic,
youth confinement dropped much further, hinting at a more permanent
shift in the size and scope of the juvenile justice system, but that has
changed swiftly over the last year, and racial disparities are much
worse today than they were prior to Covid-19 and the murders of George
Floyd and Breonna Taylor. So it begs the question going forward: can we
achieve a much-needed new normal in youth justice or are we backsliding
to the old status quo?
Co-sponsored by the Department of American Studies; the Department of Gender, Women's, + Sexuality Studies; Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Public Health; School of Social Work; Department of Psychology; Department of Political Science; Language, Literacy, and Culture Program; Department of Media and Communication Studies; the Dresher Center for the Humanities; the Center for Social Science Scholarship; and the Graduate School.