Juveniles in Adult Institutions
September 17, 2015
4:30 – 8:00 pm
200 McAllister Street
Alumni Reception Center
One of the major achievements of 19th Century penal reformers was a new approach toward children, which called for handling them in a more rehabilitative way than adults. This approach, which gave birth to the world’s first juvenile courts, was transformed in the late 1960s with the introduction of due process principles into juvenile hearings, and further in the 1980s, with the emergence of the “young superpredator” myths of violent crime. One result of these changes was the possibility to try some juveniles as adults and sentence them to adult prisons.
In recent years, penological approaches toward juveniles have undergone a transformation. Following findings in developmental psychology on adolescent brains, the Supreme Court abolished the death penalty for minors in 2005, and ruled that mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles are unconstitutional in 2012. Many states are revising their approach toward long prison terms for juveniles; in California, as a result of SB 9 and SB 260, people who were sentenced to lengthy prison terms as minors can now apply for a resentencing hearing.
Nonetheless, California, like many other U.S. states, still makes ample use of the option to prosecute and sentence juveniles as adults. About 10,000 minors nationwide are serving prison terms in adult institutions, where they are five times more likely to be sexually assaulted than in juvenile institutions, and also at a higher risk of suicide.
Our mini-conference will foster discussion of these policies and practices, inspired by Caitlin McNally’s film Stickup Kid, which follows one juvenile, Alonza Thomas, in his prison journey at an adult institution.
5:00-5:30 Film Screening: Stickup Kid
5:30-7:00 Panel discussion Caitlin McNally, filmmaker, Stickup Kid Michael Bien, Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP Sue Burrell, Youth Law Center Nate Williams, Westside Community Services
Co-sponsored by: Hastings Institute of Criminal Justice and Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP
The University of California, Hastings College of the Law is committed to making its facilities and events accessible in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you need reasonable accommodations, please contact the Disability Access Hotline at 415-581-4848 or DAH@uchastings.edu at least two weeks before the event.