Former Clinic Director and UT Professor Dean Rivkin has been serving as on Tennessee’s Juvenile Justice Realignment Taskforce. The taskforce began meeting in August of 2016 and was tasked with studying new approaches to the administration of juvenile justice. The taskforce met over several months and recently delivered a report to the legislature. Among other important proposals, the report recommends eliminating the detention of status offenders (children who are accused of acts that would not be criminal were they adults) and suggests a variety of measures to eradicate the school to prison pipeline.
Reflecting on this work, Rivkin says, “my appointment was a tribute to the hard work of the Education Law Practicum law students, lawyers, and clients. The issues confronted by the Task Force, and the ensuing recommendations for reforming key aspects of the State’s juvenile justice system, fulfilled important law reforms goals that the Practicum forged during eight years of individual case representation. If implemented, the juvenile system in Tennessee will be fairer, more efficient, and will keep students in school and out of court (and detention).”