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Juvenile Justice and the Adolescent Brain: Is Healthy Neurodevelopment a Civil Right?

March 12, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Adolescent brain science has already transformed juvenile justice policy. As we see from recent Supreme Court rulings that ended the death penalty and life without parole for juveniles, the Court is predisposed to appreciate arguments that indicate that adolescents are neurobiologically different from adults.

Brain science may also elucidate neurodevelopmental implications for juvenile offenders subject to prolonged removal from the community, facilities with limited educational and rehabilitative resources, solitary confinement, or transfer to the adult criminal system for trial and incarceration as an adult. If these conditions can be shown to have long-term, detrimental effects on the adolescent brain, might it be possible to establish a scientific and legal basis for the “right to a sound brain,” or a healthy context for brain development, enforceable through the Eighth Amendment?

On Thursday, March 12, 2015, join the MGH Center for Law Brain & Behavior’s Juvenile Justice working group at the Joseph B. Martin Conference Center of Harvard Medical School for a public symposium bringing together scientists, clinicians, and legal experts to elucidate this question.

A reception preceding the event will be held directly outside the amphitheatre at 6pm. The symposium will begin at 7pm.


For more information: http://clbb.mgh.harvard.edu/juvenilejusticesymposium/


March 12, 2015
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm