Criminalization of Poverty
Date: February 22, 2019
Time: 1:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
Cost: Hamline and low-income: free; suggested donation: $25; CLE/CEU credit: $50
Location: Anderson Center 111-112
Sponsor: Center for Justice and Law
During the 2019/2020 academic year, the Center for Justice and Law will launch a year-long series on the criminalization of poverty devoted to developing creative, concrete, and equitable policy solutions. We invite you to this half-day event on February 22 to help us vision and plan the upcoming year.
All sessions will take place in the Anderson Center, on the corner of Snelling and Englewood.
1–2: Keynote address
Peter Edelman, Georgetown School of Law
2:15–3:15: Criminalization of Poverty in Minnesota Panel Discussion
Arthur Knight, deputy chief of the Minneapolis Police Department
Fatima Moore, director of public policy at Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless
William Ward, chief public defender of Minnesota
3:30–4:30: Reflection, discussion, and planning
Peter Edelman is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law and Public Policy at Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches constitutional law and poverty law, and is faculty director of the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality. On the faculty since 1982, he has also served in all three branches of government.
In his recent book, Not a Crime to be Poor, Edelman explains that through money bail systems, fees and fines, strictly enforced laws and regulations against behavior including trespassing and public urination that largely affect the homeless, and the substitution of prisons and jails for the mental hospitals that have traditionally served the impoverished, in one of the richest countries on Earth we have effectively made it a crime to be poor. Edelman, who famously resigned from the administration of Bill Clinton over welfare "reform," connects the dots between these policies and others including school discipline in poor communities, child support policies affecting the poor, public housing ordinances, addiction treatment, and the specter of public benefits fraud to paint a picture of a mean-spirited, retributive system that seals whole communities into inescapable cycles of poverty.