On May 16, 2017, the National Juvenile Defender Center and Georgetown Law’s Juvenile Justice Initiative co-hosted The Right to Remain Children: Race and Juvenile Justice 50 Years After Gault.
While states fail to meet their constitutional obligation to fulfill due process rights for all children, youth of color in particular are disproportionately policed, arrested, and denied access to justice. The symposium featured a lineup of innovative speakers who covered topics from implicit racial bias in defenders to the adultification of black girls to restorative justice as a strategy to combat racial disparities. Professor Kris Henning of Georgetown Law also presented on “The Reasonable Black Child,” arguing that race should be considered in Fourth Amendment analyses (for more on her research, read this NPR Code Switch piece by Professor Henning and Professor Angela J. Davis of American University Washington College of Law).
The symposium served as a powerful call to action; an appeal to juvenile court practitioners to commit to confronting their own implicit biases, as well as the structural biases that continue to plague the juvenile justice system. View the program in its entirety here, and also check out a visual summary of the Juvenile Justice Initiative’s Twitter Chat on race, adolescence, and the Fourth Amendment.