The Catholic University of America


CUA Law Prominently Featured at Research Day

   Print Friendly and PDF

Members of the CUA Law faculty were prominently featured at the Third Annual Catholic University Research Day held on Thursday, April 19, 2018. Research Day brings students and faculty out of their classrooms and labs to share their work and learn about the breadth of scholarly endeavors taking place beyond their own areas of study.

CUA Law Professor Cara Drinan provided the Keynote Speech, The War on Kids: How American Juvenile Justice Lost Its Way. Drinan addressed aspects of her book such as, how the United States went from being a leader on juvenile justice matters to being an international outlier, recent Supreme Court decisions surrounding juvenile justice sentencing, the brain science behind these decisions, and reform measures she believes should take place.

“It helps to think of the war on kids as a subplot of mass incarnation in the United States… There are more than 2 million children and adults behind bars in this country and this is a new phenomenon. Today, we lead the world in our rate of incarnation. Even though we only have 5 percent of the world’s population, we have 25 percent of the world’s prisoners,” Drinan said.

Drinan explained that until 2005 children convicted in America’s courts were subject to the death penalty and that despite changes in the law, children are still sentenced to die in prison, no matter what efforts they make to rehabilitate themselves.

“The process of implementing new rules announced by the Supreme Court is incredibly slow and often bumpy,” she said.

Ending on a positive note, Drinan highlighted the value of using research as a tool for promoting the common good. “Without the research of neuroscientists we would not understand adolescent brain development as we do and without the research of social scientists we would not see with clarity the impact that our correctional practices are having on poor, minority communities.”


CUA Law Professor Regina Jefferson gave an oral presentation entitled Let Them Eat Cake, where she examined the United States retirement savings policy through the lens of international human rights.


CUA Law Professor Veryl Miles also gave an oral presentation entitled Consumer Financial Protection: A Common Good. The presentation focused on the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (CFPA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) and how the law and the work of the Bureau, respectively, mirror concepts of Catholic Social Teachings on economic justice. Professor Miles included references to several Church documents to describe the  evolution of contemporary Catholic Social Teachings on economic justice and highlighted aspects of the CFPA and the work of the Bureau through 2017 that reflect concerns associated with Catholic Social Teachings on economic justice.