A Letter from the Editors

Our latest publication centers on Arkansas’s children and their intersection with Arkansas’s legal system. Specifically, these articles analyze aspects of the state’s juvenile justice system and its approach to providing information to adopted children about their biological history.

As you’ll see, Ms. McHughes argues that race plays a role in the state’s juvenile justice system due to the systemic prejudices faced by children of color in the state’s public schools. In Mr. Ashley’s article, he proposes the Arkansas Legislature adopt Tennessee’s approach to balancing the interests of adoptees, their adoptive parents, and their biological parents to ensure adult adoptees are no longer prevented by the state from learning of their biological history. Additionally, Ms. Neihaus provides an excellent discussion of re-homing children who are adopted from foreign countries.

As the Arkansas Times recently reported, re-homing is an issue in Arkansas’s domestic adoptions as well. Representative Justin Harris and his wife assigned their adopted daughters to an employee who worked for the Harris’s childcare center after the adopted daughters failed to fit into their new home with Representative Harris, his wife, and their sons. The male employee of the childcare center was later convicted of sexually abusing the older daughter. In fact, the 90th General Assembly of the Arkansas Legislature responded to this report by passing legislation making re-homing of adopted children a felony offense in Arkansas; Governor Hutchinson signed the bill into law earlier this month.

This children-centric series of articles will also represent the end of the current Editorial Board’s tenure. The new Editorial Board will be led by Ms. Kendall Lewellen; she will be joined by Dr. Anna Baker, Mr. Zac Hale, and Ms. Aarkia Kilgore. In the last few years, the Journal has slowly grown from a spark in one law student’s mind to an officially recognized publication of the William H. Bowen School of Law. We see big growth for the Journal over the next few years! Though the Journal faces constant hurdles and new surprises around every corner, we (the current Editorial Board) hope we are leaving Bowen, its students and the community with an established vehicle to investigate and discuss the intersections of policy, law, pubilc service and academics often left unexamined.

– The 2014-2015 Arkansas Journal of Social Change and Public Service Editorial Board

Posted in: 4.2, Archive, Main News, News, Uncategorized, Volume 4

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