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“Removing the Bars: Take Action”

Criminal Justice Action Network Co-Sponsors Community Conference on Incarceration

Media Contact: Public Affairs, 212-854-2650 or publicaffairs@law.columbia.edu

New York, March 22, 2012—On March 23 and 24, a day-long event titled “Removing the Bars: Take Action” will take place at Columbia University. The interdisciplinary conference will focus on the pervasive and harmful effects of incarceration and will provide an opportunity for service providers, community members, faculty, and students to collaborate on criminal justice-related issues.

Criminal Justice Action Network (CJAN), a Columbia Law School student group organization, is a co-sponsor and organizer of the event. Other co-sponsors include the university’s Law School, School of Social Work, School of International and Public Affairs, Mailman School of Public Health, and Teacher’s College. "The goals for the REMOVING THE BARS conference are to raise awareness, foster community and strategize about how to effectuate change in our criminal justice system. We hope this will mark the start of an on-going conversation with students and faculty from the University and our surrounding community,” states the CJAN.

The conference will feature a keynote speech by Angela Davis, the radical African-American activist, as well as panel discussions by legal scholars and practitioners from across the country. Davis’ speech will address mass incarceration and the criminal justice system in America.

"The goals for the conference are to raise awareness, foster community and strategize about how to effectuate change in our criminal justice system. We hope this will mark the start of an on-going conversation with students and faculty from the University and our surrounding community,” said Ashley  Burrell '13, one of the Law School students helping to organize the event.

Other featured speakers will include Columbia Law School Professors Brett Dignam, Philip M. Genty, and Susan Sturm. Dignam will participate in “Supermaxes and Solitary Confinement,” a workshop addressing supermax and solitary confinement conditions, as well as the mental and physical consequences of long-term isolation on inmates. Genty will participate in a workshop called “Parole 101,” and Sturm will be participate in “Role of Education Inside Prison and in Successful Reentry,” which will explore education as a central component of reentry programming.

The conference is free and open to the public, but registration is mandatory. Click here to register and view the schedule and panel locations. Tickets can be picked up through TIC, the Columbia Box Office, located in the lobby of Alfred Lerner Hall.

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