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Speaker Series: Monica Bell, Yale Law School

  • When: April 25, 2018, 12–1:30 pm
  • Where: ABF Woods Conference Room, 750 N. Lake Shore Drive, 4th Floor, Lakeside, Chicago IL 60611

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Policing for Integration

Is it possible to meaningfully and sustainably transform American policing without substantially reducing residential segregation, particularly in the nation’s largest and most diverse metropolitan areas? This Article concludes that it is not. Drawing from a large body of social scientific research, this Article maps out multiple pathways through which policing plays an active role in reproducing segregation in American metropolitan areas. It then argues that without coming much closer to an equal distribution of racial groups across neighborhoods, efforts to reform and even to abolish the police will ultimately fall short.

After moving through these descriptive and critical claims, this Article shifts toward an affirmative vision of policing for integration. I draw from concepts in fair housing and civil rights law to develop normative principles that police departments should employ in support of co-producing residential integration as part of their mission. In conclusion, the Article presents policies and practices that would promote integration through better policing. By centering integration within the policing debate, this Article charts a course intended to aim at the root of the concerns of both incrementalist and radical proponents of police transformation. 

Courtesy of Yale Law School

Monica Bell is an Associate Professor of Law at Yale Law School. Her areas of expertise include poverty and welfare law, criminal justice (especially policing and reentry), housing, race and the law, qualitative empirical methods, social inequality, and law and sociology. Some of her recent work has been published in The Yale Law Journal, Law & Society Review, and the Annual Review of Law & Social Science; she has also published work in popular outlets.

Before joining the Yale Law School faculty in 2017, Bell was a Climenko Fellow & Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. She previously served as a Liman Fellow at the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, where she worked on matters related to cash assistance to families and disabled adults, child support, unemployment insurance, homeless services, healthcare, and other legal and policy issues affecting poor women and families. Bell clerked for the Honorable Cameron McGowan Currie of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina. Born and raised in South Carolina's Upcountry, Bell holds degrees from Furman University (Truman Scholar), University College Dublin (Mitchell Scholar), Yale Law School, and Harvard University.

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