October 7, 2014 at 10:30 pm

‘Critical Resistance’ Series: Panel on Life after Incarceration, Oct. 7

chart showing U.S. accounts for 5% of world's popultion and 25% of its prisoners

The Center for Law, Justice & Culture continues the “Critical Resistance to Mass Incarceration” series with a panel discussion on the challenges of life after incarceration on Tuesday, Oct. 7, from 5 to 7 p.m. in Baker 231 .

“The growth of incarceration in the United States has led to a crisis in the criminal justice system,” says CLJC Director Haley Duschinski. “This panel provides a unique opportunity to bring together an array of stakeholders to explore the effect of mass incarceration on communities and lives – including the community-based workers advocating for reform, as well as formerly incarcerated individuals who are working to re-integrate into society.”

The panel on “Re-Entry in the Era of Mass Incarceration” features community workers and activists from around the state:

  • Najmudeen Salaam, program manager, community developer and reintegration navigator for the Institute for Responsible and Restorative Environments
  • Raymond Brown, a youth mentor and motivational speaker
  • Aaron Conley, a 2008 Ohio University alumnus and now an instructor and re-entry facilitator with the Marion Correctional Institution
  • Adam Wetterhan, an instructor and re-entry facilitator with Marion Correctional Institution and the founder of Thriving Path mental, emotional, physical and social wellness program.

“Our goal in this panel is to prioritize the voices, priorities, and perspectives of those on the front lines of these efforts across the state and the nation,” Duschinski said.

The event is free and open to the public. Because the room may fill quickly, attendees are encouraged to arrive early to ensure they have seating.

The panel is sponsored by the Making and Breaking the Law theme and is part of its “Critical Resistance to Mass Incarceration” series. Each year, the theme sponsors a series of events focusing on a particular aspect of Critical Resistance relating to law, justice and culture. For the 2014-15 school year, theme events focus on Critical Resistance to Mass Incarceration.

This focus was selected by Students for Law, Justice & Culture in consultation with Making and Breaking the Law theme faculty and inspired by Michelle Alexander’s call for a national awakening on these issues during her visit to the Ohio University campus in April 2014.

The series is designed to shed critical light on the socioeconomic causes and consequences of mass incarceration and harsh punishment in the U.S. criminal justice system, with special attention on the disproportionately destructive impact of this system upon individuals and communities of color.

In mid-September, the series kicked off with a faculty panel discussion on the recent Ferguson, MO, shootings and popular protests. Students, Ohio University employees and community members filled the theater with lively dialogue about the continued existence of racism in American society today and its impact on individuals in the Athens community. The Center for Law, Justice & Culture, the Students for Law, Justice & Culture, and the Making and Breaking the Law theme hope to continue this conversation with the upcoming re-entry panel.

Many of the speakers on the panel work with the Marion Correctional Institution, a progressive, active prison north of Columbus. On the Saturday before the panel, Students for Law, justice & Culture, the student group affiliated with the CLJC will visit Marion Correctional Institution to meet with some of these men one-on-one for a discussion on higher education in prisons.

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