The Youth Tax

UW Law Assistant Professor David Garavito on why the forgotten culpability of incarcerated youth works against them in South Carolina’s discretionary parole system.

The Supreme Court has categorically ruled that the application of neuroscience research to the legal culpability of minors committing crimes, no matter how serious, must be considered in the criminal justice system. In addition to maintaining public safety, the primary goals of the juvenile justice system include rehabilitation and successfully reintegrating youth into the community after time is served. But what if just going to prison as a young person ends up working against you when you seek parole?

Parole systems, the back end of criminal justice reform, often do not receive much attention.

In this episode, assistant professor of law David Garavito, who teaches Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure at UW Law, explains the different kinds of parole systems with a particular lens on South Carolina’s discretionary parole system, which disproportionately applies prejudice against minors who commit crimes.

Garavito’s area of expertise is juvenile law. In addition to a J.D., Garavito holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Human Development, all from Cornell University, and is a New York attorney. His ability and insight to write on legal and policy matters relating to criminal law, human development and the application of psychology and neuroscience make this a riveting conversation. Garavito’s paper with John Blume and Amelia Hritz, “Caged Birds and Those That Hear Their Songs: Effects of Race and Sex in South Carolina Parole Hearings,” will be published in the Journal of Legal & Social Change in April 2024.
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