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Community Read Examines Criminal Justice Inequities

News Posted on August 20, 2021

By Alexis Elston

As part of Intro Week for incoming law students, King Hall hosted its second annual community read. As the King Hall community came back together in person, we were excited to continue our discussions about our system of justice, the rule of law and critical perspectives often without voice in our legal system. This year’s community read book was, My Time Will Come: A Memoir of Crime, Punishment, Hope, and Redemption, written by Ian Manuel. At age 14, Manuel was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for a non-homicide crime, and he survived 18 years in solitary confinement before his release in 2016. UC Davis Law Professor Irene Joe was part of the legal team at the Equal Justice Initiative that worked with Manuel to seek justice for himself and future generations.

The small discussion groups, held at King Hall, included incoming first-year students, faculty and staff members – it was a true King Hall community read. This particular book was chosen to highlight the inequities within our criminal justice system and to elicit discussion of and ideas for its future.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Fellow Alexis Elston coordinated this year’s event. The following King Hall community members acted as group discussion facilitators: Dean Kevin Johnson, Senior Assistant Dean Emily Scivoletto, Luke Fadem, Rachel Ray, Kirsten Livingston, Alexis Elston, Professor Irene Joe, Assistant Dean of Career Services Craig Compton, and Natalie Butcher. The majority of the incoming class attended and participated in the event.

Special thank you to our alumni association for providing the funding to provide each incoming student with a free copy of the book.

The law school hopes to feature Manuel in this year's Racial Justice Speaker Series to share his incredible story. 

Please see the following resources relating to this year’s community read book:

My Time Will Come: A Memoir of Crime, Punishment, Hope, and Redemption by Ian Manuel

Equal Justice Initiative

Ian Manuel, Survivor of Excessive Child Punishment, Tells His Story

Ian Manuel Discusses Incarceration At A Young Age In New Memoir

Protecting Children From Abusive Punishment

United States: prolonged solitary confinement amounts to psychological torture, says UN expert

Ian Manuel: Getting a Second Chance at Life