Future of Children: “Reducing Justice System Inequality”

The grant will support a volume of the Future of Children journal titled “Reducing Justice System Inequality.” This volume will examine inequalities in the justice system and explore alternative programs, policies, and practices that may help to close the gaps.

The volume will examine aspects of the justice system that represent targets for improvement: starting with stop, question, and frisk by police on the street through each stage of the justice system process—policing (arrest, booking, lockup), courts (arraignment, trial, conviction), and corrections (probation, jail, prison, and parole). The proposed volume will also devote special attention to schools, in particular school suspensions and the role of the police—known as school resource officers—in school. Finally, the volume will focus on three domains that are implicit in the reproduction of inequality, but have received less attention from the research and public policy communities: foster care, indigent defense, and jails. Each chapter will describe the contours of inequality and assess processes, policies, practices, or programs that hold promise or have already demonstrated some success in responding to inequality. John Laub, a distinguished criminologist, former director of the National Institute for Justice, and author of the Foundation-commissioned paper “Understanding Inequality and the Justice System Response” will edit the volume. The proposed authors represent a range of disciplines, including criminology, law, and sociology.