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Week six at Chautauqua Institution is themed ‘Crime and Punishment’

July 25, 2013
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

CHAUTAUQUA -Week Six examines the U.S. criminal justice system-what works, what doesn't, how effective it is and how it compares to others around the world.

Monday will feature a special lecture on portrayal of the law in opera, as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg combines her two passions.

Former Virginia Law dean John C. Jeffries Jr. will provide a philosophical and historical introduction to criminology and criminal justice on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Nina Morrison, senior staff attorney at the Innocence Project, will speak on her organization's work to exonerate the innocent and reform a system responsible for many unjust imprisonments.

Wes Moore will review race and the U.S. criminal justice system, based on experiences of his youth and research for his book, The Other Wes Moore, on Thursday. Retired federal judge Nancy Gertner, now professor of practice at Harvard Law School, closes the week on Friday with remarks on sentencing law.

Afternoon Interfaith Lectures: Restorative Justice

Restorative justice is a theory of justice that emphasizes repairing the harm caused by criminal behavior to the community as well as to the victim. It is best accomplished through cooperative processes that include all stakeholders, including the perpetrator. This week will focus on what needs to be healed, what needs to be repaid to the victim and society and what needs to be learned and changed in the wake of crime.

Carolyn Boyes-Watson, professor of sociology at Suffolk University and founding director of the Center for Restorative Justice at Suffolk University, kicks off the Interfaith Lectures on Monday. She has published extensively about the Restorative Justice Movement with special focus on the peacemaking circle.

Jacques Verduin, founding director of the Insight Prison Project (IPP), a non-profit that since 1997 pioneers innovative in-prison rehabilitation programs in San Quentin, will present on Tuesday. He has trained former prisoners to act as Change Agents in the community, working to prevent violence and incarceration. Verduin is a subject matter expert on mindfulness, emotional intelligence, restorative justice and transforming violence. He has worked in prisons for 17 years and serves as a catalyst for statewide prison reform in California.

Kay Pranis, a long-time leader in the Restorative Justice Movement, will deliver Wednesday's address. Pranis is involved in developing the use of peacemaking circles in schools, social services, churches, families, museums, universities, municipal planning and workplaces throughout the United States and Canada. She has a particular interest in the use of circles to support social justice efforts addressing racial, economic, class and gender inequities.

Father Gregory Boyle, founder and executive director of the Los Angeles-based Homeboy Industries, will speak on Thursday. He is a consultant to youth service and governmental agencies, policy-makers and employers and is a nationally renowned speaker, focusing on the importance of adult attention, guidance and unconditional love in preventing youth from joining gangs. He also serves on the U.S. Attorney General's Defending Childhood Task Force.

Bruce Western, professor of sociology at Harvard University and a member of the faculty at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, will end the Interfaith Lecture week on Friday. His research interests are in the field of social stratification and inequality, political sociology and statistical methods. He is the author of Punishment and Inequality in America, a study of the growth and social impact of the American penal system. He is currently studying the social impact of rising income inequality in the United States.



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