Graduation Year

2017

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Public Policy Analysis

Reader 1

David Menefee-Libey

Reader 2

Tessa Hicks Peterson

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Rights Information

© 2017 Ian S Schiffer

Abstract

This thesis analyzes how caring relationships and an emancipatory approach to law related education (LRE) within juvenile justice facilities can cultivate political agency. I focused specifically on Camp Afflerbaugh-Paige, an LA County juvenile probation facility, in La Verne, CA, as a case study. During three months of teaching a law related education class and embedding myself at the facility with an asset-based framework, I encountered a wealth of knowledge that incarcerated juveniles possess, not from formal education or research, but based in their own lived experiences. Los Angeles County Probation spends $233,000 per student per year; assuming best intentions of those in charge and the actors, the students, with a wide array of expertise, should be thriving within these institutions and set up for success upon their release. Unfortunately, though, students’ academic, entrepreneurial, and legal expertise are criminalized rather than cultivated by the juvenile justice system. Through a policy class, the students created reforms to address the challenges of a paramilitary camp that neglects students’ emotional, physical, and mental health. The challenges in the environment complicate the political agency of students within the camp and post-release. I am making the claim that the political agency of the students is visible and the assets are tangibly cultivated by an emancipatory pedagogy, ethic of care, and the law related education curriculum.