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JCRED Announces Best Notes Award Winners

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development (JCRED) has announced the winners of its 2016-2017 Best Notes Award. They are Sarah Silverhardt '17 and Leigha Ann Weiss '16. The annual award recognizes outstanding scholarly research and writing by JCRED members.

Silverhardt’s note, “Breaking the Silence with a Permanent Mark: Preventing and Punishing Serial Rapists on College Campuses,” brings to light the issue of serial sexual perpetrators on college campuses who escape punishment and continue assaulting among campuses under the flawed Title IX system. Influenced by recent passed legislation in New York and Virginia, the note proposes that federal legislation should be implemented, as an extended component of Title IX, to require educational institutions to mark a student’s transcript if they are found guilty of a sexually violent crime. It also includes a draft of the proposed legislation.

Poverty stricken Americans across the country are subjected to pretrial detention because they can’t post bail. In her note, “Incarcerating the Accused: Reforming Bail for the Pretrial Detention of Juveniles,” Weiss discusses how 16- and 17-year-olds are particularly vulnerable since they are subject to adult sanctions, but lack the financial and other resources needed to make bail. She asserts that alternatives to incarceration, such as supervisory programs and house arrest, should be expanded in lieu of pretrial detention for juveniles who are accused of crimes.

Established in 1985 as the Journal of Legal Commentary, JCRED’s name was changed officially in 2010 to better reflect its mission and its content as the official student publication of the Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights. Throughout its 30-plus-year history, it has offered a vital forum for illuminating and discussing critical issues of the day, such as child advocacy, criminal justice, race and the law, national security, and diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and in law schools.

Guiding JCRED are its faculty advisors, Professor Elaine M. Chiu, director of the Ron Brown Center, and Professor Rosa Castello ’06, the Center’s assistant director. In addition to working on the publication, JCREDlmembers participate in the affiliated Perspectives on Justice course taught by Professors Chiu and Castello. In this class, they have an opportunity to write notes, blog posts, and op-ed pieces on topics of social justice. They also collaborate with the Center to host special events, including these recent conferences and symposia:

  • Religious Freedom Today
  • Education: The New Civil Right (part of the NBA's 2015 Wiley A. Branton Issues Symposium series)
  • Title VII at 50
  • Legal, Secular, and Religious Perspectives on Same-Sex Marriage
  • America’s New Class Warfare
  • New Challenges and New Approaches to Domestic Violence
  • Border Patrols: The Legal, Racial, Social, and Economic Implications of United States Immigration Policy
  • Criminal Justice in the 21st Century: The Challenges to Protect Individual Freedoms, Civil Rights, and Our Safety

JCRED expands the reach of these important events by publishing articles authored by the symposia and conference presenters. It also broadens the scope of its work through the online companion to its print journal. The website shares news and information about JCRED’s programs and initiatives and publishes student notes on a range of topics related to racial, social, and economic justice.