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Criminalized Students, Reparations, And The Limits Of Prospective Reform, Amber Baylor Jan 2022

Criminalized Students, Reparations, And The Limits Of Prospective Reform, Amber Baylor

Faculty Scholarship

Recent reforms discourage schools from referring students to criminal law enforcement for typical disciplinary infractions. Though rightly celebrated, these reforms remain mere half-measures, as they emphasize prospective decriminalization of student conduct without grappling with the harm to generations of former students – disproportionately Black – who have been targeted by criminalizing policies of the past. Through the lens of reparations theory, this Article sets out the case for retroactive and reparations-based redress for the criminalization of students. Reparations models reposition moral norms. They acknowledge state harm, clarify the losses to criminalized students, allow for expansive forms of redress, and cast restoration of ...


Accommodating Parents, Joshua Gupta-Kagan Jan 2022

Accommodating Parents, Joshua Gupta-Kagan

Faculty Scholarship

The child protection legal system is supposed to work towards the reunification of parents and children in foster care through individualized services to help parents raise their children safely. But that legal system has long been criticized for frequent and severe invasions into the family integrity rights of parents with disabilities and their children, treating parental disabilities as grounds for permanent separation instead of individual characteristics to be accommodated. Several years ago, it seemed that the law was turning. In 2015, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice issued joint guidance stating that the Americans with ...


A Ringing Endorsement Of Lawyers, And The Most Important Development In Child Protection Law, Joshua Gupta-Kagan Jan 2021

A Ringing Endorsement Of Lawyers, And The Most Important Development In Child Protection Law, Joshua Gupta-Kagan

Faculty Scholarship

Two empirical studies demonstrating the impact of vigorous family defense legal work on child protection cases bookended the 2010s. In 2012, Mark Courtney and Jennifer Hook found that cases in which a specialized interdisciplinary law office (ILO) represented parents had faster reunifications, guardianships, and adoptions than similar cases with different parental representation, though it did not explore how those results were obtained. In 2019, Lucas Gerber, Yuk Pang, Timothy Ross, Martin Guggenheim, Peter Pecora, and Joel Miller found that, compared to solo and small office practitioners, ILOs in New York City hastened reunification and guardianships for their clients, leading to ...


Beyond "Children Are Different": The Revolution In Juvenile Intake And Sentencing, Joshua Gupta-Kagan Jan 2021

Beyond "Children Are Different": The Revolution In Juvenile Intake And Sentencing, Joshua Gupta-Kagan

Faculty Scholarship

For more than 120 years, juvenile justice law has not substantively defined the core questions in most delinquency cases — when should the state prosecute children rather than divert them from the court system (the intake decision), and what should the state do with children once they are convicted (the sentencing decision)? Instead, the law has granted certain legal actors wide discretion over these decisions, namely prosecutors at intake and judges at sentencing. This Article identifies and analyzes an essential reform trend changing that reality: legislation, enacted in at least eight states in the 2010s, to limit when children can be ...


Reimagining Schools’ Role Outside The Family Regulation System, Brianna Harvey, Joshua Gupta-Kagan, Christopher Church Jan 2021

Reimagining Schools’ Role Outside The Family Regulation System, Brianna Harvey, Joshua Gupta-Kagan, Christopher Church

Faculty Scholarship

The United States’ family regulation system often begins with well-intentioned professionals making child protection hotline calls, jeopardizing their own ability to work with families and subjecting the families to surveillance. By the system’s own standards, most of this surveillance leads to no meaningful action. Nowhere is this reality more present than in schools. Educational personnel serve as the leading driver of child maltreatment allegations, yet decades worth of data reveal educator reports of maltreatment are the least likely to be screened-in and the least likely to be substantiated or confirmed. In other words, education personnel — whether motivated by genuine ...


Law In The Time Of Covid-19, Katharina Pistor Apr 2020

Law In The Time Of Covid-19, Katharina Pistor

Faculty Books

The COVID-19 crisis has ended and upended lives around the globe. In addition to killing over 160,000 people, more than 35,000 in the United States alone, its secondary effects have been as devastating. These secondary effects pose fundamental challenges to the rules that govern our social, political, and economic lives. These rules are the domain of lawyers. Law in the Time of COVID-19 is the product of a joint effort by members of the faculty of Columbia Law School and several law professors from other schools.

This volume offers guidance for thinking about some the most pressing legal ...


Child Welfare And Covid-19: An Unexpected Opportunity For Systemic Change, Jane M. Spinak Jan 2020

Child Welfare And Covid-19: An Unexpected Opportunity For Systemic Change, Jane M. Spinak

Faculty Scholarship

The COVID-19 pandemic has already wrecked greater havoc in poor neighborhoods of color, where pre-existing conditions exacerbate the disease’s spread. Crowded housing and homelessness, less access to health care and insurance, and underlying health conditions are all factors that worsen the chances of remaining healthy.Workers desperate for income continue to work without sufficient protective measures, moving in and out of these neighborhoods, putting themselves and their families at risk. During periods of greater disruption, tensions are heightened and violence more prevalent. Already some experts are warning of an onslaught of child maltreatment cases, citing earlier examples of spikes ...


Conceptualizing Legal Childhood In The Twenty-First Century, Clare Huntington, Elizabeth S. Scott Jan 2020

Conceptualizing Legal Childhood In The Twenty-First Century, Clare Huntington, Elizabeth S. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

The law governing children is complex, sometimes appearing almost incoherent. The relatively simple framework established in the Progressive Era, in which parents had primary authority over children, subject to limited state oversight, has broken down over the past few decades. Lawmakers started granting children some adult rights and privileges, raising questions about their traditional status as vulnerable, dependent, and legally incompetent beings. As children emerged as legal persons, children’s rights advocates challenged the rationale for parental authority, contending that robust parental rights often harm children. And a wave of punitive reforms in response to juvenile crime in the 1990s ...


America's Hidden Foster Care System, Joshua Gupta-Kagan Jan 2020

America's Hidden Foster Care System, Joshua Gupta-Kagan

Faculty Scholarship

In most states, child protection agencies induce parents to transfer physical custody of their children to kinship caregivers by threatening to place the children in foster care and bring them to family court. Both the frequency of these actions (this Article establishes that they occur tens or even hundreds of thousands of times annually) and their impact (they separate parents and children, sometimes permanently) resemble the formal foster care system. But they are hidden from courts, because agencies file no petition alleging abuse or neglect, and hidden from policymakers, because agencies do not generally report these cases.

While informal custody ...


Conceptualizing Legal Childhood In The Twenty-First Century, Elizabeth S. Scott, Clare Huntington Jan 2019

Conceptualizing Legal Childhood In The Twenty-First Century, Elizabeth S. Scott, Clare Huntington

Faculty Scholarship

The law governing children is complex, sometimes appearing almost incoherent. The relatively simple framework established in the Progressive era, in which parents had primary authority over children, subject to limited state oversight, has broken down over the past few decades. Lawmakers started granting children some adult rights and privileges, raising questions about their traditional status as vulnerable, dependent, and legally incompetent beings. As children emerged as legal persons, children’s rights advocates challenged the rationale for parental authority, contending that robust parental rights often harm children. And a wave of punitive reforms in response to juvenile crime in the 1990s ...


Aggressive Policing And The Educational Performance Of Minority Youth, Joscha Legewie, Jeffrey A. Fagan Jan 2018

Aggressive Policing And The Educational Performance Of Minority Youth, Joscha Legewie, Jeffrey A. Fagan

Faculty Scholarship

An increasing number of minority youth are confronted with the criminal justice system. But how does the expansion of police presence in poor urban communities affect educational outcomes? Previous research points at multiple mechanisms with opposing effects. This article presents the first causal evidence of the impact of aggressive policing on the educational performance of minority youth. Under Operation Impact, the New York Police Department (NYPD) saturated high crime areas with additional police officers with the mission to engage in aggressive, order maintenance policing. To estimate the effect, we use administrative data from about 250,000 adolescents aged 9 to ...


Brain Development, Social Context And Justice Policy, Elizabeth S. Scott, Natasha Duell, Laurence Steinberg Jan 2018

Brain Development, Social Context And Justice Policy, Elizabeth S. Scott, Natasha Duell, Laurence Steinberg

Faculty Scholarship

Justice policy reform in the past decade has been driven by research evidence indicating that brain development is ongoing through adolescence, and that neurological and psychological immaturity likely contributes in important ways to teenagers’ involvement in crime. But despite the power of this trend, skeptics point out that many (perhaps most) adolescents do not engage in serious criminal activity; on this basis, critics argue that normative biological and psychological factors associated with adolescence are unlikely to play the important role in juvenile offending that is posited by supporters of the reform trend. This Article explains that features associated with biological ...


Rethinking Family-Court Prosecutors: Elected And Agency Prosecutors And Prosecutorial Discretion In Juvenile Delinquency And Child Protection Cases, Joshua Gupta-Kagan Jan 2018

Rethinking Family-Court Prosecutors: Elected And Agency Prosecutors And Prosecutorial Discretion In Juvenile Delinquency And Child Protection Cases, Joshua Gupta-Kagan

Faculty Scholarship

Like criminal prosecutors, family-court prosecutors have immense power. Determining which cases to prosecute and which to divert or dismiss goes to the heart of the delinquency system’s balance between punishment and rehabilitation of children and the child protection system’s spectrum of family interventions. For instance, the 1990s shift to prosecute (rather than dismiss or divert) about 10 percent more delinquency cases annually is as significant a development as any other. Yet scholars have not examined the legal structures for these charging decisions or family-court prosecutors’ authority in much depth.

This Article shows how family-court prosecutors’ roles have never ...


Righting Research Wrongs: An Empirical Study Of How U.S. Institutions Resolve Grievances Involving Human Subjects, Kristen Underhill Jan 2018

Righting Research Wrongs: An Empirical Study Of How U.S. Institutions Resolve Grievances Involving Human Subjects, Kristen Underhill

Faculty Scholarship

Tens of millions of people enroll in research studies in the United States every year, making human subjects research a multi-billion-dollar industry in the U.S. alone. Research carries risks: although many harms are inevitable, some also arise from errors or mistreatment by researchers, and the history of research ethics is in many ways a history of scandal. Despite regulatory efforts to remedy these abuses, injured subjects nonetheless have little recourse to U.S. courts. In the absence of tort remedies for research-related injuries, the only venue for resolving such disputes is through alternative dispute resolution (ADR) – or more commonly ...


Young Adulthood As A Transitional Legal Category: Science, Social Change And Justice Policy, Elizabeth S. Scott, Richard J. Bonnie, Laurence Steinberg Jan 2018

Young Adulthood As A Transitional Legal Category: Science, Social Change And Justice Policy, Elizabeth S. Scott, Richard J. Bonnie, Laurence Steinberg

Faculty Scholarship

In the past decade, developmental brain research has had an important influence on juvenile crime regulation. More recently, advocates and some policy makers have argued that the developmental research should shape the law’s response to young adult offenders. Developmental scientists have found that biological and psychological development continues into the early 20, and that 18 to 21 year old adults are more like younger adolescents than older adults in their impulsivity under some conditions. Further, like teenagers, young adults engage in risky behavior, such as drinking, smoking, unsafe sex, using drugs, and offending, to a greater extent than older ...


How Should Justice Policy Treat Young Offenders?, Bj Casey, Richard J. Bonnie, Andre Davis, David L. Faigman, Morris B. Hoffman, Owen D. Jones, Read Montague, Stephen J. Morse, Marcus E. Raichle, Jennifer E. Richeson, Elizabeth S. Scott, Laurence Steinberg, Kim Taylor-Thompson, Anthony Wagner Jan 2017

How Should Justice Policy Treat Young Offenders?, Bj Casey, Richard J. Bonnie, Andre Davis, David L. Faigman, Morris B. Hoffman, Owen D. Jones, Read Montague, Stephen J. Morse, Marcus E. Raichle, Jennifer E. Richeson, Elizabeth S. Scott, Laurence Steinberg, Kim Taylor-Thompson, Anthony Wagner

Faculty Scholarship

The justice system in the United States has long recognized that juvenile offenders are not the same as adults, and has tried to incorporate those differences into law and policy. But only in recent decades have behavioral scientists and neuroscientists, along with policymakers, looked rigorously at developmental differences, seeking answers to two overarching questions: Are young offenders, purely by virtue of their immaturity, different from older individuals who commit crimes? And, if they are, how should justice policy take this into account?

A growing body of research on adolescent development now confirms that teenagers are indeed inherently different from adults ...


The School-To-Prison Pipeline's Legal Architecture: Lessons From The Spring Valley Incident And Its Aftermath, Joshua Gupta-Kagan Jan 2017

The School-To-Prison Pipeline's Legal Architecture: Lessons From The Spring Valley Incident And Its Aftermath, Joshua Gupta-Kagan

Faculty Scholarship

In October 2015, a Black teenager at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina had her cell phone out in her math class. Her teacher told her repeatedly to put it away. Repeatedly she refused. The teacher then called a school administrator, who similarly instructed her to put away her phone. The student continued to refuse. The administrator then called the school resource officer (“SRO”), the uniformed, armed deputy sheriff assigned to the school. The SRO came and informed the student that she had to put away her cell phone. When the student again refused, the officer arrested her ...


Stanley V. Illinois'S Untold Story, Joshua Gupta-Kagan Jan 2017

Stanley V. Illinois'S Untold Story, Joshua Gupta-Kagan

Faculty Scholarship

Stanley v. Illinois is one of the Supreme Court’s more curious landmark cases. The holding is well known: the Due Process Clause both prohibits states from removing children from the care of unwed fathers simply because they are not married and requires states to provide all parents with a hearing on their fitness. By recognizing strong due process protections for parents’ rights, Stanley reaffirmed Lochner-era cases that had been in doubt and formed the foundation of modern constitutional family law. But Peter Stanley never raised due process arguments, so it has long been unclear how the Court reached ...


The Strange Life Of Stanley V. Illinois: A Case Study In Parent Representation And Law Reform, Joshua Gupta-Kagan Jan 2017

The Strange Life Of Stanley V. Illinois: A Case Study In Parent Representation And Law Reform, Joshua Gupta-Kagan

Faculty Scholarship

This Article helps describe the growth of parent representation through an analysis of Stanley v. Illinois — the foundational Supreme Court case that established parental fitness as the constitutional lynchpin of any child protection case. The Article begins with Stanley’s trial court litigation, which illustrates the importance of vigorous parental representation and an effort by the court to prevent Stanley from obtaining an attorney. It proceeds to analyze how family courts applied it (or not) in the years following the Supreme Court’s decision and what factors have led to a recent resurgence of Stanley’s fitness focus.

Despite Stanley ...


Juvenile Sentencing Reform In A Constitutional Framework, Elizabeth S. Scott, Thomas Grisso, Marsha Levick, Laurence Steinberg Jan 2016

Juvenile Sentencing Reform In A Constitutional Framework, Elizabeth S. Scott, Thomas Grisso, Marsha Levick, Laurence Steinberg

Faculty Scholarship

In the past decade, the Supreme Court has transformed the constitutional landscape of juvenile crime regulation. In three strongly worded opinions, the Court held that imposing harsh criminal sentences on juvenile offenders violates the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. Roper v Simmons in 2005 prohibited the imposition of the death penalty for a crime committed by a juvenile. Five years later, Graham v. Florida held that no juvenile could be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole (LWOP) for a nonhomicide offense. Then in 2012, Miller v. Alabama struck down statutes that required courts to sentence ...


Young Adulthood As A Transitional Legal Category: Science, Social Change, And Justice Policy, Elizabeth S. Scott, Richard J. Bonnie, Laurence Steinberg Jan 2016

Young Adulthood As A Transitional Legal Category: Science, Social Change, And Justice Policy, Elizabeth S. Scott, Richard J. Bonnie, Laurence Steinberg

Faculty Scholarship

In the past decade, much attention has focused on developmental brain research and its implications for the regulation of crime. Public and policy interest has been directed primarily toward juveniles. In light of recent research, courts and legislatures increasingly have rejected the punitive response of the 1990s and embraced a developmental approach to young offenders. Of particular importance in propelling this trend has been the framework offered by the U.S. Supreme Court in a series of Eighth Amendment opinions that have rejected harsh adult sentences for juveniles. These decisions, supported by adolescent brain research, rested on two empirically based ...


The New Permanency, Joshua Gupta-Kagan Jan 2015

The New Permanency, Joshua Gupta-Kagan

Faculty Scholarship

Permanency is a pillar of child welfare law; children generally do better with legally permanent caretakers than in temporary foster care. Historically, when foster children cannot reunify with their parents, states have sought to terminate parental rights and find adoptive families. But recent legal reforms have created a continuum of permanency options, many of which permit ongoing legal relationships with biological parents and do not require termination of biological parents’ rights. Research has demonstrated that such options are as lasting as adoption, and can help more children leave foster care to legally permanent caretakers. This continuum promises to empower families ...


Non-Exclusive Adoption And Child Welfare, Joshua Gupta-Kagan Jan 2015

Non-Exclusive Adoption And Child Welfare, Joshua Gupta-Kagan

Faculty Scholarship

This Article proposes that child welfare law permit the non-exclusive adoption of foster children who cannot reunify with their parents — that is, adoption by foster parents without severing children’s legal relationships with their biological parents. Present law imposes a choice: extended family members or other foster parents may adopt foster children exclusively — and terminate the legal relationship between the child and biological parents — or they may become guardians — which preserves parent–child relationships but denies foster parents the legal title of “parent,” even when they are long-term primary caretakers.

Non-exclusive adoption would respect the lived reality of many foster ...


The Supreme Court And The Transformation Of Juvenile Sentencing, Elizabeth S. Scott, Thomas Grisso, Marsha Levick, Laurence Steinberg Jan 2015

The Supreme Court And The Transformation Of Juvenile Sentencing, Elizabeth S. Scott, Thomas Grisso, Marsha Levick, Laurence Steinberg

Faculty Scholarship

In the past decade, the Supreme Court has transformed the constitutional landscape of juvenile crime regulation. In three strongly worded opinions, the Court held that imposing harsh criminal sentences on juvenile offenders violates the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. In combination, these cases create a special status for juveniles under Eighth Amendment doctrine as a category of offenders whose culpability is mitigated by their youth and immaturity, even for the most serious offenses. The Court also emphasized that juveniles are more likely to reform than adult offenders, and that most should be given a meaningful opportunity to ...


Justice Policy Reform For High-Risk Juveniles: Using Science To Achieve Large-Scale Crime Reduction, Jennifer L. Skeem, Elizabeth S. Scott, Edward Mulvey Jan 2014

Justice Policy Reform For High-Risk Juveniles: Using Science To Achieve Large-Scale Crime Reduction, Jennifer L. Skeem, Elizabeth S. Scott, Edward Mulvey

Faculty Scholarship

After a distinctly punitive era, a period of remarkable reform in juvenile crime regulation has begun. Practical urgency has fueled interest in both crime reduction and research on the prediction and malleability of criminal behavior. In this rapidly changing context, high-risk youth – the small proportion of the population where crime is concentrated – present a conundrum. Research indicates that these are precisely the individuals to intensively treat to maximize crime reduction, but there are both real and imagined barriers to doing so. Institutional placement or criminal court processing can exclude these youths from interventions that would better protect public safety. In ...


In Re Sanders And The Resurrection Of Stanley V. Illinois, Joshua Gupta-Kagan Jan 2014

In Re Sanders And The Resurrection Of Stanley V. Illinois, Joshua Gupta-Kagan

Faculty Scholarship

This Essay begins by reviewing Stanley v. Illinois, and outlines how that foundational case originally recognized parental rights in foster care cases yet became understood primarily as a private adoption case. Second, it explains how, simultaneously, family courts developed the One-Parent Doctrine and a related doctrine making it difficult to transfer custody of a child from an abusive or neglectful parent in one state to a non-offending parent in another. Both doctrines violate Stanley by allowing the State to take custody of children without ever proving parental unfitness. Cases adopting these doctrines literally ignore Stanley. Third, this Essay argues that ...


Judicial Leadership In Family Court: A Cautionary Tale, Jane M. Spinak Jan 2014

Judicial Leadership In Family Court: A Cautionary Tale, Jane M. Spinak

Faculty Scholarship

For the past 35 years I have been practicing in, teaching, and writing about the Family Court. The problem-solving court movement in the last two decades – with its proliferation of drug courts, mental health courts, and veterans courts, to name a few – renewed my interest in the historical roots of the family court because of the parallels between the original juvenile court and the recent problem solving court movement. One of the key elements – perhaps the defining element – in both is the role of the judge as the leader of the court. That is what I want to focus on ...


Toward A Public Health Legal Structure For Child Welfare, Joshua Gupta-Kagan Jan 2014

Toward A Public Health Legal Structure For Child Welfare, Joshua Gupta-Kagan

Faculty Scholarship

The present American child welfare system infringes upon the fundamental liberty interests of millions of children and parents, is adversarial and punitive, and fails to prevent child maltreatment or protect children adequately from its most severe forms. Many in the field now recognize that a public health model would more effectively support the parent–child relationship and protect children from maltreatment than the current paradigm. Despite much attention to such an approach, the field has yet to develop a clear vision for how the law could or should support a public health approach or shape the actions of individuals and ...


Children's Health In A Legal Framework, Elizabeth S. Scott, Clare Huntington Jan 2014

Children's Health In A Legal Framework, Elizabeth S. Scott, Clare Huntington

Faculty Scholarship

The interdisciplinary periodical Future of Children has dedicated an issue to children’s health policy. This contribution to the issue maps the legal landscape influencing policy choices. The authors demonstrate that in the U.S. legal system, parents have robust rights, grounded in the Constitution, to make decisions concerning their children’s health and medical treatment. Following from its commitment to parental rights, the system typically assumes the interests of parents and children are aligned, even when that assumption seems questionable. Thus, for example, parents who would limit their children’s access to health care on the basis of the ...


"Children Are Different": Constitutional Values And Justice Policy, Elizabeth S. Scott Jan 2013

"Children Are Different": Constitutional Values And Justice Policy, Elizabeth S. Scott

Faculty Scholarship

This essay explores the importance for Eighth Amendment jurisprudence and for juvenile crime regulation of Miller v. Alabama (2012) and two earlier Supreme Court opinions rejecting harsh sentences for juveniles. It argues that the Court has broken new ground in defining juveniles as a category of offenders who are subject to special Eighth Amendment protections. In Miller and in Graham v. Florida (2010) particularly, the Court has applied to juveniles' non-capital sentences the rigorous proportionality review that, for adults, has been reserved for death sentences. The essay then turns to the implications of the opinions for juvenile crime policy, arguing ...