Eve Brank, J.D,. Ph.D. studies juvenile and family law issues and the law's attempt to criminalize deficits in family responsibility. In particular, she studies the public support, implementation, and effectiveness of parental responsibility laws -- laws that punish parents when their children commit crime. Dr. Brank also studies elder law issues with a specific focus on the legal requirements of elder care giving.
Students in Dr. Brank's research team have opportunities to do research on state and city laws related to parental responsibility. Every state allows some form of parental responsibility law and city ordinances are becoming more punitive toward parents of delinquent juveniles. We are examining the prevalence of these laws, the implementation difficulties, and their effectiveness. Students working on the parental responsibility projects will gain experiences with legal research, survey methodology, and interview techniques. Students will also have opportunities to work on elder law issues. As the population ages and more people are opting to live with their families rather than in nursing homes, a number of important psychological and legal questions arise. For instance, we are currently examining when and how an adult becomes an elder's caregiver and whether they are aware of the legal requirements. We are also working on projects that examine ageism (bias against older people) and decision making of elders. Students working on the elder projects would gain experiences with legal research and experimental methodology.