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University of Baltimore Law Review

Abstract

As young women pull ahead of young men in higher education, the wage gap narrows, and young men continue to be arrested and incarcerated at higher rates than young women, there has been much discussion at the policy level and in the media regarding the need to concentrate resources on men and boys. President Barack Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper" and “Responsible Fatherhood” initiatives typify this shift.

As legal aid lawyers who represent youth, many of whom have been involved in the juvenile and criminal legal systems, we are pulled into the debate and asked to answer with increasing frequency: “What about the boys?” While young men of color certainly face discrimination and hardships that are worthy of attention, any conversation about the impact of mass incarceration on communities of color that ignores the voices and experiences of young women of color is inherently misguided.

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