Stigma Not Science: The Prosecution and Punishment of Drug Use During Pregnancy

by Rebecca Besaw, Staff Editor, GJPLP

Combining claims of fetal personhood and the war on drugs, prosecutors and judges have come together to deny pregnant women full protection under the law. Through severe and direct punishment for drug use during pregnancy, these state actors continue the tradition of the war on drugs by targeting low-income people and people of color for prosecution.[1] 
According to National Advocates for Pregnant Women, a non-profit organization that specializes in this issue, at least 45 states have attempted to prosecute pregnant women based on a theory of harm to the fetus.[2]

Continue reading

Continued Segregation in an Unlikely Place

by Holly Wonneberger, Staff Editor, GJPLP

When the general public thinks of the state of Connecticut, they likely think of fall foliage, large colonial brick houses, and Ivy League campuses.

These images do not reflect a whole reality.

Most people know that Brown v. Board of Education determined that separate but equal is not equal, and schools across the country were required to integrate.[1] A lesser-known state-level case, Sheff v. ONeill was decided over four decades after Brown, and sought to demand the same changes. Sheff ordered Hartford-area schools to integrate because the existence of extreme racial and ethnic isolation in the public school system deprives school children of substantially equal educational opportunity; and required the state to take further remedial action.[2] The Connecticut Supreme Court concluded the school districting scheme, as codified in districting and attendance statutes, was unconstitutional under the Connecticut Constitution.[3]

Continue reading