You Have the Right to Remain Powerless: Deprivation of Agency by Law Enforcement and the Legal and Carceral Systems

20 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2022 Last revised: 10 Nov 2022

See all articles by Jennifer Merrigan

Jennifer Merrigan

Washington University School of Law; Saint Louis University - School of Law; Phillips Black, Inc.

Date Written: September 9, 2022

Abstract

At every point of contact the criminal legal system strips individuals and marginalized communities of agency. From arrest, to appointment of counsel, to incarceration, the legal and carceral systems corrode individual and collective autonomy, particularly in communities of color. This article examines specific ways in which law enforcement, the legal system and the carceral state excise power, and proposes immediate measures that must be enacted to restore power to incarcerated individuals.

Keywords: Transformation, Graterford, Finley, access to justice, deprivation, Lifers, power, police misconduct, PCRA, reentry, agency, Philadelphia, indigent defense, prison organizations, law library

JEL Classification: K14, P48

Suggested Citation

Merrigan, Jennifer, You Have the Right to Remain Powerless: Deprivation of Agency by Law Enforcement and the Legal and Carceral Systems (September 9, 2022). St. John's Law Review , Vol. 95, No. 4, 2022, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4214718

Jennifer Merrigan (Contact Author)

Washington University School of Law ( email )

United States

Saint Louis University - School of Law ( email )

100 N. Tucker Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63101
United States

Phillips Black, Inc. ( email )

United States

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