University of Pittsburgh
September 20, 2005

Social Worker and Guest Lecturer Rosemary Sarri To Speak at Pitt on Prosecuting Juveniles


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH-What happens to juveniles when the crimes they are accused of are so violent that they are tried in the justice system as adults? The pressing problem of juvenile crime and our courts will be addressed in the Norman J. and Alice Chapman Rubash Distinguished Lecture in Law and Social Work-a free public lecture and panel discussion at the University of Pittsburgh Oct. 6, from noon to 2 p.m. in the Teplitz Moot Court Room in the Barco Law Building.

Rosemary Sarri, professor and senior researcher emerita at the University of Michigan, will deliver a lecture titled "Prosecuting and Treating Juveniles as Adults in the United States." Sarri participated in a multimillion dollar research project in the 1970s, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, to document the character and problems of juvenile justice in all 50 states. Five major reports, papers, and books on the findings of the project were published, resulting in a movement away from incarcerating juveniles in adult jails to sentencing them to community-based initiatives instead. Now, Sarri says, the pendulum has swung back, and most states are putting juveniles back in adult prisons.

Sarri also has studied women at risk, has helped provide educational programming for women in prison, and has developed schools of social work in countries ranging from China to Peru. In her 40 years at the University of Michigan School of Social Work, she administered both the master's program in social welfare administration and the joint doctoral program in social work and social science.

Following Sarri's address, a regional panel of experts, moderated by Jeffrey Shook, Pitt assistant professor of social work, will comment. They include:

o Gwen Elliott, founder and CEO of Gwen's Girls, a nonprofit agency that

empowers girls ages 8-18 through educational programs and experiences;

o Barry McCarthy, professor in Pitt's School of Law and an expert in criminal

law and juvenile law;

o Eric Joy, assistant administrator in Allegheny County Juvenile Court; and

o Eric Woltshock, general trial and juvenile unit supervisor for Allegheny

County's District Attorney's Office.

Continuing education credits for social work and law are available. For more information, call 412-624-3711.