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SADO/MAACS - Race, Trauma, and the Fourth Amendment

Time: October 7, 2021 - 12-2pm
Location: Zoom

For many people of color, the daily, discriminatory, and unnecessary encounters with police are overwhelming and traumatic. In this interactive workshop, appellate defenders will think about how to incorporate research on racial bias, trauma, and stereotype threat into their search and seizure litigation. This workshop will focus on several contexts in which racial bias and trauma affect the Fourth Amendment analysis, including seizure, consent to search, reasonable articulable suspicion and probable cause, and the court’s “commonsense interpretation” of “suspect” behaviors. Drawing upon recent advances in cognitive science and psychology, this training attempts to bring the search and seizure doctrine into line with what we know about implicit racial bias and contemporary relationships between people of color and the police.

Kristin Henning is the Blume Professor of Law and Director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic and Initiative at Georgetown Law, where she and her law students represent youth accused of delinquency in Washington, DC. Kris was previously the Lead Attorney for the Juvenile Unit of the D.C. Public Defender Service and is currently the Director of the Mid-Atlantic Juvenile Defender Center.

Kris has trained state actors across the country on the impact of racial bias and trauma in the juvenile and criminal legal systems. Her workshops help stakeholders recognize their own biases and develop strategies to counter them. Kris also worked closely with the McArthur Foundation’s Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network to develop a 41- volume Juvenile Training Immersion Program (JTIP), a national training curriculum for defenders. She now co-hosts, with the National Juvenile Defender Center (NJDC), an annual week-long JTIP summer academy for trial lawyers and a series of “Train the Trainer” programs for experienced defenders. In 2019, Kris partnered with NJDC to launch a Racial Justice Toolkit for youth advocates, and again in 2020, to launch the Ambassadors for Racial Justice program, a year-long program for juvenile defenders committed to challenging racial injustice in the juvenile legal system through litigation and systemic reform.

Kris writes extensively about race, adolescence, and policing. Her new book, The Rage of Innocence: How America Criminalizes Black Youth, is forthcoming with Penguin Random House on September 28, 2021. Henning serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for Children’s Law and Policy, the ABA’s Juvenile Justice Standards Task Force, and ALI’s Restatement on Children and the Law project. She has won several awards including the 2021 Juvenile Leadership Prize by the Juvenile Law.


Online registration, here.