JJLP Symposium 2012 -- Changing Course: Addressing Racial Disparities in the Juvenile Justice System

This year’s symposium is focused on the stark racial disparities that exist in the juvenile justice system. Our panelists discuss possible ways of reducing the unequal treatment that young people of color experience in the areas of 1) contact with law enforcement, 2) charging, sentencing, and detention and 3) access to rehabilitative and restorative programs and opportunities. Our speaker panels feature community leaders, scholars and activists who approach the problem of racial disparities from a wide variety of viewpoints. Panel One: Disproportionate Minority Contact This panel focuses on the complex social, political, and economic factors that create the situations where youth of color come into contact with law enforcement. Of particular importance to this panel is the idea of Disproportionate Minority Contact as it relates to initial contacts between youth and the juvenile justice system. Moderator:David Onek Senior Fellow, Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice Speakers: James Bell Executive Director, Burns Institute for Juvenile Justice Fairness & Equality Shalinee Hunter Disproportionate Minority Contact Coordinator, Corrections Standards Authority Dr. Rita Cameron-Wedding Chair, Department of Women’s Studies, Professor of Women’s Studies & Ethnic Studies, Sacramento State University Keynote: Racial Disparities in Juvenile Detention, Charging and Sentencing James Bell Executive Director, Burns Institute for Juvenile Justice Fairness & Equality Panel Two: Access to Opportunities and Programs for Youth of Color This panel is designed to address the types of programs and opportunities for youth of color that have seen recent success in contexts such as decreasing recidivism, and increasing graduation rates. The panelists will address combining theory and practice in efforts to increase access to beneficial programs for youth of color who have already had contact with the juvenile justice system, or who are at risk for future contact. Moderator: Angela Harris Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law Speakers André Aikins Operations Manager, Omega Boys Club Dr. Fania Davis Executive Director, Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth Lateefah Simon Director, California’s Future Initiative of the Rosenberg Foundation