Criminalization of children subject of faculty symposium

Criminalization of children subject of faculty symposium

Athens, Ga. – Each year more than two million children between the ages of 10-17 are sentenced to either juvenile detention centers or, with increasing frequency, adult prisons. Research shows that in many cases, once children enter the juvenile justice system they never leave it. Instead, when they turn 17, they transition into the adult justice system.

“The Prison Pipeline: The Criminalization of America’s Children,” is the title of a campus-wide symposium coordinated by two of the participating partners in the University of Georgia Child and Family Policy Initiative-the Carl Vinson Institute of Government and the College of Family and Consumer Sciences. The symposium will be held on Nov. 6 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in room 101 of the Student Learning Center.

“The Nov. 6 symposium is designed as a starting point for bringing together teaching, research and public service faculty, as well as students, from across campus who are interested in juvenile justice issues,” according to Sue Chapman, coordinator for FACS Cooperative Extension programs. “This event will also serve as a kick-off to a statewide conference that we hope to sponsor in fall 2008, which will bridge current research with policy and practice from across the state.”

The symposium will include the screening of selected scenes from The Intolerable Burden, which tells the story of Mae Bertha Carter’s decision to send the youngest eight of her 13 children to the previously all-white high school in Drew, Miss., in 1964. The film, produced by Connie Curry, uses the Carter children’s experiences to explore what has occurred in many public schools since desegregation laws were passed. In too many cases, according to the film, a lack of funding for public schools has meant an increase in drop-out rates and an increase in incarceration rates, particularly among young, black men. Curry will attend the symposium and comment on her current work related to this issue.

Following the film, a panel discussion will feature UGA faculty and practitioners who work in the field of juvenile delinquency. Among those speaking will be Ed Risler, associate professor in the School of Social Work; Leslie Simons, assistant professor in the FACS Department of Child and Family Development; Ron Simons, research professor in Department of Sociology; and Sharon Hill, Executive Director of the Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice.

For more information, contact Rachel Hagues at 706/542-6223 or childsymp@cviog.uga.edu. This event has been registered as a Blue Card event with the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.