Eminent law professor Cara Drinan takes our stage to chronicle the shortcomings of juvenile justice. In The War on Kids: How American Juvenile Justice Lost Its Way, she draws us a timeline of how the United States went from being a pioneer to an international pariah in its juvenile sentencing practices.
Calling upon social science, legal precedent, and first-hand correspondence, Drinan examines the struggles of adolescents whose errors have cost them their lives—many of whom retain life sentences in prison. Academics and journalists have long criticized the flawed incarceration system in our country, and activists such as Seattle’s No New Youth Jail movement have brought the issue into local focus. According to Drinan, the Supreme Court may finally be enacting some much-needed reform. Drinan urges us to seize this moment of judicial recognition and support the idea that children should be different in the eyes of the law.
Presented by Town Hall Seattle as part of the Civics series.