CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Rutgers Hosts "Behind Bars: The Impact of Incarceration on Women and Their Families"

Smith_4Academics and practitioners will explore the impact and legal implications of incarceration on women and their families at the 2007 symposium of the Women’s Rights Law Reporter at Rutgers School of Law–Newark. “Behind Bars: The Impact of Incarceration on Women and Their Families” will take place from 12:30 – 4 pm on Wednesday, March 7, in the law school’s Baker Trial Courtroom.

Professor Brenda V. Smith of Washington College of Law, American University, will be the keynote speaker for the first panel, which will focus on women’s issues while incarcerated. These include special considerations with respect to women Pgenty inmates, their healthcare needs, religious beliefs, safety, status of federal and state legislation as it applies to these particular issues, and possible advancements that would achieve improvement for women in prison.

Professor Philip Genty of Columbia Law School will keynote the second panel. This panel will consider the impact of a woman’s imprisonment on her family unit. The discussion will include the role of federal and state laws such as the Adoption and Safe Family Act (“ASFA”), which applies to post-incarceration situations involving state and federal agencies.

The Women’s Rights Law Reporter, a quarterly journal of legal scholarship and feminist criticism published by students at Rutgers School of Law–Newark, is the oldest legal periodical in the U.S. focusing exclusively on the field of women’s rights law. Founded in 1970 by now-Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and feminist activists, legal workers, and law students and first published independently in New York City, the Reporter moved to Rutgers in 1972 and became formally affiliated with the law school in 1974. [Mark Godsey]

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I work on a media project with a similar title, “Family Life Behind Bars in America,” which examines the impact on family relations and dynamics when one or more member of a family is incarcerated. How do some families overcome the separation, financial strain, social stigma and guilt while others crumble? Why is there a greater likelihood that a child of someone who is in prison will also end up in jail at some point? How do society, politics or special interests help or hinder family relations?

The content is anecdotal, based on journalism-style interviews, rather than any pre-conceived research methodology. Therefore, I look forward to attending "Behind Bars: The Impact of Incarceration on Women and Their Families,” to hear the experts discuss this topic from a research angle.

I will link to the conference on, which is the website of The Lives in Focus Project Inc., is a non-profit media company that uses video, audio and photographs to present the voices and stories of those who are rarely given space or time in traditional news media.

Posted by: Sandeep | Feb 22, 2007 7:49:02 AM

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