Current Issue

Volume 95, Number 3

June 2020

Anti-Segregation Policing

Monica C. Bell

Conversations about police reform in lawmaking and legal scholarship typically take a narrow view of the multiple, complex roles that policing plays in American society, focusing primarily on their techniques of crime control. This Article breaks from that tendency, engaging police reform from a sociological perspective that focuses instead on the noncriminal functions of policing. In particular, it examines the role of policing in the daily maintenance of racial residential segregation, one of the central strategies of American racial inequality. Unlike previous work that touches on these issues, this Article argues that police reformers and police leaders should adopt an anti-segregation approach to policing. It also offers legal frameworks and policy prescriptions that flow from an anti-segregation ethic in police governance.

This Article begins by setting forth a rich account of residential segregation, clarifying the distinction between easily measurable proxies for segregation and the type of segregation with which law and policy should be concerned: the spatial separation that confines, subordinates, and dominates. It then identifies and illustrates six mechanisms through which American policing perpetuates residential segregation, drawing from sociological research, including qualitative narratives collected in Dallas County, Texas; Cuyahoga County, Ohio; and Baltimore, Maryland. Next, the Article sketches the architecture of anti-segregation policing, offering legal frameworks based on fair housing law and federal and state consent decrees, as well as a non-exhaustive set of practical approaches police departments could take to advance an anti-segregation agenda. Finally, the Article engages a fundamental question central to police transformation movements today: Is meaningful police reform, including anti-segregation policing, possible in a society that is structured through race?

The Imperative for Trauma-Responsive Special Education

Nicole Tuchinda

Recent, robust research makes clear that childhood trauma, such as abuse or neglect in the home or the chronic lack of basic necessities, is common and can cause and exacerbate disabilities in learning and behavior. These disabilities prevent many children from making educational progress, but evidence-based strategies now exist to give these children access to education. To appropriately implement these strategies, the nation’s educational disability rights laws—the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (together, “Section 504”)—must become “trauma-responsive” or “healing centered.” The imperative to make education for children with trauma-induced disabilities trauma-responsive is not just moral, however; it is also legal. IDEA’s “Child Find” and Section 504’s “Locate and Notify” mandates require public school systems to identify and provide an evaluation and individualized education to all children with disabilities. This is the first article in the legal literature to describe the need to make IDEA, Section 504, and their implementation trauma-responsive. This article is also the first to propose three ways to meet this need: 1) requiring assessment of trauma’s impact when trauma is suspected to be a cause of disability in a child; 2) amending IDEA to add a stand-alone, trauma-specific disability category through which children can become eligible for special education and recognizing that trauma causes disability under Section 504; and 3) putting trauma-responsive specialized instruction, related services, and accommodations into individualized educational programs developed under IDEA (“IEPs”) and programs developed under Section 504 (“504 plans”).


Overfiling and Under-Enforcement

Hannah R. Miles

Environmental regulation is accomplished through a system of cooperative federalism—the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets nationwide standards for various pollutants, but the responsibility for granting permits, inspecting facilities, and punishing violations is generally delegated to state agencies. This power-sharing arrangement has frequently created tensions between the federal and state environmental agencies. Overfiling is one of the most contentious of these tensions; it occurs when the federal government files an enforcement action against a polluter for a violation of a federal environmental statute after the delegated state agency has reached a settlement with the same polluter for the same violation. While overfiling occurs very rarely, it is a critical component of the cooperative federalism arrangement, and in this Note, I propose that it should occur more frequently in order to ensure that state agencies are not using low enforcement to de facto create a more hospitable landscape for polluters and damage public health and the environment.