concerning because “[c]hildren who are exposed to neighborhood violence, particularly gun
violence, suffer increased rates of depression, aggression, delinquency, poor school performance,
and risky sexual behavior.”11 As a result, the best way to address youth gun violence is to prevent
it from happening in the first place, “rather than just addressing the problem after the fact.”12
Many of the shootings that take place in Chicago are a result of gang violence, and there is
general agreement that the City cannot “arrest its way out of its gang problem.”13
It is because of the devastating effect that violence has on every aspect of a child’s life
that the Children’s Legal Rights Journal chose to host this year’s annual symposium on youth
gun violence and devote this issue of the journal to the topic. The Children’s Legal Rights
Journal (CLRJ) is a legal journal based in Chicago that releases three issues annually, edited by
Loyola University of Chicago law students in cooperation with the National Association of
Counsel for Children. Each year, CLRJ hosts a symposium related to a specific and emerging
topic in the field of child law, this year’s topic being “Gun Violence Among Youth in Chicago.”
Experts in the field are invited to speak, and practitioners, students, and other professionals are
invited to attend for CLE or CEU credit. A keynote speaker delivers a scholarly address, and
panelists speak about their expertise in the chosen area and provide written supplemental
materials for attendees. The experts who speak, either as keynote or as panelists, are invited to
submit an article for the symposium issue of CLRJ, which contains articles dedicated to the
For this year’s symposium held on October 18, 2013, the keynote speaker was Dr.
Deborah Gorman-Smith, a professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service
Administration and Principal Investigator of the Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention.
Dr. Gorman-Smith spoke about the effects of witnessing violent incidents on children and
discussed her research on effective methods to prevent youth violence. In addition to Dr.
Gorman-Smith, three panels of speakers participated in the symposium. During the morning
panel, focused on “Research and Statistics regarding Incidents of Youth Violence in Chicago,”
professionals spoke about their research regarding victims and perpetrators of youth violence, and
the effect of violence on youth who are exposed to it at an early age. This panel included Dr.
Noni Gaylord-Harden, an associate professor and director of the Parents and Children Coping
Together Research Lab in the Department of Psychology at Loyola University Chicago, Dr.
Arthur Lurigio, a psychologist and senior associate dean for faculty in the College of Arts and
Sciences at Loyola University Chicago, and Stephanie Kollmann, who manages juvenile justice
research and reform projects at the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern
University School of Law.
The lunch panel consisted of two young men who started RISE Chicago after one of their
friends was shot and killed in Chicago when he was only nineteen years old. RISE Chicago is a
youth-led organization that aims to raise awareness about youth violence in Chicago, establish
one or more trauma centers on the South Side of Chicago, reduce youth murders in the City, and
change negative rap music messages that encourage violence.
The afternoon continued with a panel, entitled “Seeking Solutions: Public Health and
Law-Based Approaches to Addressing Youth Gun Violence,” consisting of experts from
11 NATIONAL FORUM, supra note 1; Youth Shootings Drop by 40 Percent in 2013 in Chicago, CBS CHI. (Jan. 28, 2014),
12 NATIONAL FORUM, supra note 1; ANDER ET AL., supra note 4, at 2-3.