Spotlight on Associate Dean Eve Hanan

Eve Hanan is the Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Research. She teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, and directs a misdemeanor defense clinic and practicum. For the past five years, student attorneys in the Misdemeanor Clinic have represented people who would otherwise not receive a public defender because the state is not seeking jail time. Dean Hanan says, "It's gratifying to be part of efforts to reduce the impact of misdemeanors on ordinary people." The clinic has been featured in the Las Vegas Sun and the Nevada Independent.

Hanan's recent scholarship explores ways to account for the experiences of those who are policed, prosecuted, and punished. In her article Invisible Prisons, Eve focused on the lack of attention to the experience of imprisonment in setting prison sentences. Lawmakers permit, and judges impose prison sentences that last for decades, much longer than in European countries. "I argue that this is partly due to a simplified view; we think about the number of years rather than about the cruelty and harshness of imprisonment as it is experienced by the imprisoned. Building on Invisible Prisons, I surveyed efforts of incarcerated people to organize as a political voice in Incarcerated Activism During Covid-19 and the experience of unrepresented defendants in Talking Back in Court."  Hanan notes, "It has been through clients in the Misdemeanor Clinic and her previous work as a public defender that I have learned how the criminal legal system impacts people."

Currently, Hanan says, "I am working on an article and an essay, both of which caution against criminal legal reforms that engender good feelings without reducing the documented harms of over-policing, over-prosecution, and ruinous punishments." The essay, which she is co-authoring with Professor Lydia Nussbaum, focuses on restorative justice. "We analyze the term, "community accountability," which suggests nonpunitive, grassroots, and democratic alternatives to criminal systems. But, as we demonstrate, "community accountability" can be easily co-opted into criminal and juvenile justice systems–a problem overlooked by many restorative justice advocates."