Scrutiny of conditions within our nation’s prisons has steadily intensified from local coverage in the Miami Herald about wretched conditions in a Florida women’s correctional facility to the Department of Justice Review of Solitary Confinement which analyzed practices within institutions across the country. The heightened focus on prison conditions can be attributed to widespread national attention on the multi-dimensional issue of mass incarceration.
The University of Miami School of Law Race & Social Justice Law Review’s March 18 event, “Mass Incarceration: Prison Conditions and the Collateral Damage to Communities of Color,” will focus on the conditions to which our incarcerated citizenry are subjected. The dialogue will take a multi-perspective look at the legal, economic, political, social, and psychological issues associated with the current conditions within U.S. prisons and jails.
“This year’s panel will provide a timely, focused discussion on various issues related to prison conditions and the collateral effects imprisonment has on the communities to which the inmates return upon release,” said Janyl Relling, Editor-in-Chief of the University of Miami Race & Social Justice Law Review. “It seems that now, more than ever, these issues are making headlines in local and national news media. It is important that students, academics, members of the legal community, and the community-at-large be informed about the multi-layered phenomenon to better advocate for systemic change.”
The panel will open with a segment titled, “The Tragic Case of Kalief Browder,” providing an intimate look at the circumstances surrounding the imprisonment of a 16-year-old boy at Rikers Island – an infamous adult correctional facility in New York. The harrowing story of Browder’s traumatic ordeal and tragic death will be told by Paul Prestia, attorney for the Kalief’s family. The panel of experts will then provide in-depth discussion of “Current Conditions in U.S. Prisons,” and “The Impact of Prison Conditions on Minority Communities.” The panel will end with “Discussion of Potential Reforms.”
“Mass Incarceration” will bring together academics, activists, and attorneys with the goal of furthering the scholarly discussion on these issues and identifying potential solutions. Panelists will include: University of Michigan’s Henry M. Butzel, Professor of Law; Margo Schlanger, the presidentially appointed Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; American University Professor of Law Brenda V. Smith, Director of The Project on Addressing Prison Rape; founding Executive Director of the Florida Justice Institute Randall C. Berg, Jr., Esq.; founder and Executive Director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News Paul Wright; and criminal defense and civil rights abuses attorney Paul Prestia, Esq.
Scholarship from the event will be featured in Volume VI of the Review.
The panel will take place on Friday, March 18, 2016 in Room E352 at Miami Law.
Online registration is available on the Event Website as well as information about the speakers and the event agenda.
Three General CLE credits are available to registrants at no cost.
The event is free and open to the public.