Conference Program

The conference program will be available some time in January or early  February. 

Plenary on Juvenile Solitary Confinement

We are excited to introduce one of the plenaries for the conference, a panel discussing juvenile solitary confinement through the lens of the documentary, Time: The Kalief Browder Story, which is currently available to stream on Netflix. Kalief Browder was a 16-year old from the Bronx who spent three years in Rikers Island– two of which were spent in solitary confinement -- awaiting trial for allegedly stealing a backpack because his family could not afford bail. His case was never prosecuted and the charges were ultimately dropped; however, following his release, Kalief committed suicide. The six-part documentary is a first-person account of his story, including the negative impact solitary confinement had on his mental health. 

The panelists will discuss issues presented by the documentary Time: The Kalief Browder Story, including the legal and psychological issues surrounding solitary confinement within the context of juveniles. The panelists will include:



Jenner Furst, the director and producer of Time: The Kalief Browder StoryIn 2007,  Jenner Furst was on the ground floor of "Brick City" packaging and selling the acclaimed 11-Hour Docuseries for Sundance Channel. He went on to win a Peabody Award with Veteran Filmmakers Marc Levin, Mark Benjamin and Oscar-Winner Forest Whitaker. The team then developed "Chicagoland" an 8-Hour Docuseries for CNN, which Furst Senior Produced with Executive Producer Robert Redford. Furst founded The Cinemart in 2011 with Julia Willoughby Nason to create and produce signature, handmade work in a boutique setting. The company produced "Welcome to Leith" which premiered in competition at Sundance and went on to earn Furst and Nason Emmy Nominations. The Cinemart formed a partnership with Jay Z to produce "TIME: The Kalief Browder Story". Furst Co-Created, Executive Produced and Directed the 6-Part Series for Spike TV, drawing in over 40 Million viewers during it's broadcast and going on to earn an IDA nomination. Furst is currently Co-Directing "REST IN POWER: The Trayvon Martin Story" with Julia Willoughby Nason for Jay Z and the Paramount Network. Furst is set to direct several forthcoming projects from his Brooklyn-based studio, and continues to develop premium content with Nason and their team.



Marsha Levick, Esq., Deputy Director and Chief Counsel, co-founded Juvenile Law Center in 1975. Throughout her legal career, Levick has been an advocate for children’s and women's rights and is a nationally recognized expert in juvenile law. Levick oversees Juvenile Law Center’s litigation and appellate docket. She has successfully litigated challenges to unlawful and harmful laws, policies and practices on behalf of children in both the juvenile justice and child welfare systems.  Levick also spearheaded Juvenile Law Center’s litigation arising out of the Luzeme County, Pennsylvania juvenile court judges' corruption scandal known as the “kids for cash” scandal, where Juvenile Law Center successfully sought the expungement and vacatur of thousands of juveniles’ cases before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and is pursuing civil damages for the children and their families in a federal civil rights class action.

Levick has authored or co-authored numerous appellate and amicus briefs in state and federal appeals courts throughout the country, including many before the US Supreme Court, and has argued before both state and federal appellate courts in Pennsylvania and numerous other jurisdictions. Levick co-authored the lead child advocates’ amicus briefs in key recent United States Supreme Court cases, including Roper v. Simmons (juvenile death penalty unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment); Graham v. Florida (life without parole sentences for juveniles convicted of non-homicide offenses unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment); J.D.B. v North Carolina ( a juvenile’s age is relevant to the Miranda custody analysis under the Fifth Amendment); and Miller v. Alabama (mandatory sentences of life without parole for juveniles convicted of homicide offenses unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment). Levick also served as co-counsel in Montgomery v Louisiana, where the Supreme Court ruled Miller retroactive throughout the country. 


Dr. Stuart Grassian of Massachusetts is a Board-certified psychiatrist who was on the teaching staff of the Harvard Medical School for almost thirty years. He has had extensive experience in evaluating the psychiatric effects of stringent conditions of confinement, and has served as an expert in both individual and class-action lawsuits addressing this issue. Dr. Grassian described a particular psychiatric syndrome resulting from the deprivation of social, perceptual, and occupational stimulation in solitary confinement. His observations and conclusions have been cited in a number of federal court decisions, for example: Davenport v. DeRobertis, 844 F.2d 1310 (7th Cir. 1988), and Madrid v. Gomez, 889 F. Supp. 1146 (N.D. Cal. 1995). His work was also cited in a recent Supreme Court concurring opinion by Justice Kennedy.

In his publications, Dr. Grassian described the extensive body of literature, including clinical and experimental literature, regarding the effects of decreased environmental and social stimulation in a variety of situations, and specifically, observations concerning the effects of segregated prison confinement.

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