2015-16 Tow Youth Justice Institute Events

Events By Year

Emily Tow Jackson- The Power of Philanthropy to Impact System Change

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 @ 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
As part of the Bartels Lecture Series

University of New Haven Bucknall Theater
Click HERE for the program

Click HERE for the PowerPoint presentation

Click HERE for a video clip

Ms. Tow Jackson is executive director and Board president of The Tow Foundation (Tow), a charitable organization that supports work in the areas of justice reform, medical research, higher education and cultural institutions. Tow provides funding and creates partnerships with nonprofit leaders, policy makers, and the community in order to accomplish its goals and visions. The foundation is committed to supporting services that are designed to improve the outcomes for vulnerable children and families.  Ms. Tow Jackson joined the Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 1988 and has been executive director for more than 20 years. In 2012, Barron’s magazine lauded her as a standout among “The Giving Generation.” You can find more information on the Tow Foundation and her bio.

The Tow Foundation is primary funder for the University’s Tow Youth Justice Institute (TYJI), the first of its kind in Connecticut dedicated to juvenile-justice reform. The TYJI was established in October 2014 and is rapidly growing. 

You can read more here!

Emily Tow Jackson Flyer

CT Police Executives Juvenile Justice Conference

Thursday, April 07, 2016 8:00 AM - Friday, April 08, 2016 9:00 AM
Hosted by the TYJI and Center for Advanced Policing University of New Haven in association with the Connecticut Police Officers Standards and Training Council, and the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association

University of New Haven Saw Mill Campus

Read more here!

CT Police Executives Juvenile Justice Conference

America’s Distorted Image: The Over-Incarceration of African Americans

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 @ 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Please join the Tow Youth Justice Institute, the Institute of Social Justice and the Political Science Speaker Series for an exciting panel discussion.

University of New Haven, Bartels Hall, Alumni Lounge

Download the flyer here.

America's Distorted Image Panelists

The issue of the over-incarceration of African-Americans took center stage during a recent presentation and panel discussion at the University of New Haven.

The discussion, “America’s Distorted Image: The Over-Incarceration of African-Americans”, included a panel of faculty and students from the University of New Haven, as well as a guest speaker from The Sentencing Project in Washington D.C.

The presentation began with a lecture by University of New Haven Criminal Justice Associate Professor, Tracy Tamborra, Ph.D., on the history of treatment of African-Americans from a criminal justice perspective that included explanations of Jim Crow laws, slavery, peonage, the War on Drugs, and the prison industry.

 “More than 60 percent of all incarcerated persons are ethnic and racial minorities…One in three black males are likely to be imprisoned in their lifetime,” said Dr. Tracy Tamborra, a criminal justice professor who teaches Ethnic and Gender Issues in Criminal Justices and Criminology at the University of New Haven.

Tamborra called the incarceration rates “a modern form of slavery”, using a slide show of photographs depicting the history of slavery as a part of her argument. “Slavery was in all states, as late as the 1850s in New York and New Jersey. It was not just a ‘Southern problem,’” she stated.

Dr. Tamborra also highlighted how the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, which allocated $1.7 billion to fight drug crimes, resulted in a more dramatic prison problem for black males calling the war on drugs a “trillion-dollar failure.”

The War on Drugs is a “trillion-dollar failure”.

“The mass-incarceration of African-Africans is a social justice issue impacting both adults and juveniles. By realizing the multigenerational effect of incarceration policies, prevention efforts can target youth whose social support has suffered as a result of a love one being removed from the home and community. Social services must be available for adult reentry, but they must also address delinquency prevention to stop the cycle of incarceration,” said Dr. Danielle Cooper, who was one of the panelist and a criminal justice professor at the University of New Haven. Cooper is also works with the TYJI.The panelists also discussed a New York Times article Police Leaders Join Call to Cut Prison Rosters, as well as a movement to reduce the nation’s incarceration rates, pushing for alternatives to arrest, reducing the number of criminal laws, and ending mandatory minimum sentences.

Ashley Nellis, Ph.D., a Senior Research Analyst for the Sentencing Project, was a special panelist invited to speak at  the forum. Dr. Nellis, who studies criminal justice policies and practices, spoke specifically on racial and ethnic disparities in the context of youth in the juvenile justice system. As the author of A Return to Justice: Rethinking our Approach to Juveniles in the System, Dr. Nellis, who spoke of the treatment of youth in the U.S. justice system, has extensive experience in research on racial disparities, life sentences and sentence of life without parole.

“I believe that this is an important issue, especially with all that has been going on with the Black Lives Matter movement and the social and news media that has been amplifying major racial issues that are going on,” Chloe Williams, a student at the University of New Haven, who is majoring in criminal justice with a concentration in forensic psychology, TYJI Graduate Intern and panelist stated. “The over-incarceration of minorities has been a subject that has been spoken about in many criminal and social justice classes in which I have enrolled in at the University of New Haven. However, the discussion should not end in the classroom. Black men are still suffering the repercussions of the War on Drugs, which unjustifiably targets black men for the same drug that their white counterparts were using and selling – crack vs. cocaine. Underlying bias is reason why blacks are a minority in the United States, yet somehow are the majority of the prison population,” Williams added.

Many attendees and panelists expressed that they enjoyed the event. “The panel and audience engagement was amazing. The introduction set the tone and informed everyone about the history of slavery and incarceration. We were asked great questions that allowed us to explore topics relating youths and young adults experiences with corrections, perceptions of justice, prevention efforts in the community, and more. Many students told me that they enjoyed the conversation when we discussed it in class the next day,” Dr. Cooper stated.

Hillhouse Students Visit the University of New Haven

Friday, September 25, 2015 @ 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Based on the University of New Haven partnership with the New Haven Board of Education on the Public Safety Academy

Live Burnbox

The University of New Haven teamed up with 60 students, as well as Bill Garrity and other faculty from James Hillhouse High School to present them with information about the range of opportunities offered at the university after they graduate from high school. The Hillhouse students are part of the Public Safety Academy located in Hartford, which exposes select students to hands-on learning in three different areas: law enforcement, fire sciences and emergency medicine, law and government and homeland security. The University of New Haven, which is a leading school in criminal justice and forensic science, was a great school for these students to visit based off of these focuses.

Bill Carbone at Hillhouse EventThe positive feedback from the students was shown when Megan Kolis, the Enrollment Service Coordinator of Undergraduate Admissions, received 42 inquiries stating the students’ interest in a variety of programs within the Henry C. Lee College at the University of New Haven. The students particularly enjoyed touring the Henry C. Lee Institute and seeing the “burn box,” which is a live fire demonstration that shows how quickly a college dormitory can burn when in a susceptible environment. The live burn box is done every year during “fire prevention week” to demonstrate the hazardous effects that can arise from not having a smoke detector or a sprinkler system.

The Hillhouse students and staff seemed very thankful for the invitation to visit the university’s campus. Likewise, the University of New Haven was excited to show the students what kind of future they can look forward to in the hopes of furthering their education.

CCA Suspending Our Students: CT Law and Schools’ Responsibilities

Tuesday, September 29, 2015 @ 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM
Must register to attend the Center for Children's Advocacy Seminar Series

UConn School of Law: 65 Elizabeth Street, Hartford, CT 06105
With new state law effective July 1, 2015, Out of School Suspension is Banned for Young Children up to Grade 2

  • What does this mean for schools?
  • How does this affect young children and their families?
  • What supports are in place to help children with behavioral health issues?
  • How does the legislation affect classroom teachers?