Professor Tanya Cooper Presents "Thinking Outside the Carceral System in Clinics Addressing Gender-Based Violence" -- AALS Clinical Education Conference
Professor Tanya Asim Cooper presented "Thinking Outside the Carceral System in Clinics Addressing Gender-Based Violence" at the 2022 Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Conference on Clinical Legal Education. The conference, titled "Lawyering with Creativity and for Equity," was held on May 9-13.
From the AALS conference program:
Since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in 1994, law and policy addressing intimate partner violence (and now other gender-based violence) has been centered around the criminal legal system. Anti-violence advocates of color advocated against this approach, cautioning that not only would it not address the needs of women of color who experience intimate partner violence, but that it could also actively work against their interests. Fast forward to 2021, and an increasing number of advocates, activists, and scholars are raising the alarm of the costs of this carceral approach and suggesting innovative alternatives. This interactive discussion session will explore how to incorporate alternatives to the criminal legal system into clinics that represent intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and trafficking victim-survivors. Discussion leaders will pose a series of ideas and questions on engaging in (a) processes that provide alternatives to the criminal legal system such as human rights and restorative justice processes, (b) educational advocacy to inform victim-survivors, service providers, and other interested stakeholders, and (c) research on and advocacy for alternatives through systemic change projects. We will also discuss how to maintain relationships with stakeholders in the criminal legal system who are critical to serving those victim-survivors who do wish to make use of that system. Clinicians often silo the brainstorming and implementation process. This discussion session will provide us with the much-needed opportunity to disrupt these siloes, engage in productive “group think”, share and critique ideas, and form the foundations for future collaboration to enable systems to change.