Professor Cara H. Drinan is a nationally recognized expert on the right to counsel, juvenile sentencing and criminal justice reform.
After a brief period in private practice, she joined the law faculty at the Catholic University of America in 2006. Drinan teaches criminal law, criminal procedure, and criminal justice reform, among other courses. She also serves as the law school’s Director of Faculty Research, supporting her colleagues in their research development, publication and promotion.
Drinan's own writing focuses on access to counsel, sentencing, and youth in the criminal justice system. In 2017, she published her first book on the extremity of juvenile sentencing in America, The War on Kids: How American Juvenile Justice Lost Its Way (Oxford Univ. Press). In her scholarship, Drinan seeks to offer legislative and judicial solutions to thorny criminal law and sentencing issues. She is especially interested in giving voice to those whose lives have been shaped by mass incarceration and combating systemic racism as reflected in the criminal justice system.