[SOC in the News]: Ft. Work by Dr. Alexes Harris

The following is an excerpt from an article posted by Quartz Media by Noah Berlatsky on May 31st, 2017. It features contributions from UW Sociology Professor Alexes Harris…

The Case of a 15-year-old who Shot her Abusive Dad shows the Unbearable Cost of Self-Defense

“When Bresha Meadows was 14 years old, she killed her father—a man that her mother and siblings say had subjected the family to years of violent abuse. She spent the next nine months in jail. The Ohio teenager accepted a plea deal for involuntary manslaughter in May, and is scheduled to be released in two months to a residential treatment facility. But her trials—and those of her family—will not end there.

Meadows’s experience is part of a long and painful tradition in the US, in which survivors of domestic violence, especially black women, are criminalized and prosecuted. The criminal justice system did not help Meadows; instead, it re-victimized her.

Meadows had a pro-bono attorney, but she had to pay for two expert witnesses, who can cost between $10,000 and $20,000 a piece. Meadows’s initial mental health evaluation was around $10,000. And of course, her family had to come up with money to continue to live while attending court hearings and supporting their loved one. Meadows’s mother lost her job during the course of the case. And treatment at the private mental health facility where she will go next costs $70,000, according to Mariame Kaba, founder of Project NIA and co-organizer of the Free Bresha campaign.”

Read the full article here

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