Criminalization of Poverty

February 22, 2019 @ 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Hamline University
1536 Hewitt Ave
St Paul, MN 55104

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 22nd to
help us vision and plan the upcoming year.

1:00 – 2:00: Keynote address
Peter Edelman, Georgetown Law School

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 MN Coalition for the Homeless
William Ward, Chief Public Defender of Minnesota

3:30 – 4:30: Reflection, discussion, and planning
(3 hours of continuing education credit)

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.