2017 Fall Adult Forum - Mass Incarceration

Christian Responses to Crime and Punishment | September 2017–January 2018

Prior Fall Series on Mass Incarceration and Criminal Justice Reform

St. Chrysostom’s Adult Forum featured distinguished speakers on the history and causes of mass incarceration in our country: on the harm it has caused especially in African-American communities, and on some of the efforts to improve the criminal justice that are now underway in Illinois and elsewhere.

Presentations and conversations were rooted deeply in the spirituality of justice and mercy as embodied in Jesus’ life and ministry—and in the Anglican interpretive model which draws on Scripture, tradition, and reason. 

September 10 | The Rev. Al Sharp, Executive Director of Clergy for a New Drug Policy and former Interim Executive Director of Community Renewal Society
Introduction: How our system of incarceration has developed and some key issues

> CLICK TO VIEW A VIDEO of Rev. Sharp's full presentation.

September 17 | Jahmal Cole, Executive Director, My Block, My Hood, My City 
Broadening Horizons of Chicago Youth: Using city-wide explorations to lift teens out of the cycle of poverty and imprisonment

> CLICK TO VIEW A VIDEO of Jahmal Cole's full presentation

September 20 | Netflix documentary “13th” about the political, legal and administrative developments over the past 50 years that led to our current system of mass incarceration

> CLICK for more information and a link to watch "13th" on Netflix.  

September 24 | Amy Thompson, Deputy Cook County Public Defender
The System: How the criminal justice system works and barriers to reducing incarceration 

> CLICK TO VIEW A VIDEO of Amy Thompson's talk

October 1 |  Courtney Lance Morakalis, author of Pruno, Ramen, and a Side of Hope: Stories of Surviving Wrongful Conviction 

> CLICK TO VIEW A VIDEO of Courtney Lance Morakallis' talk

October 15 | Andrea J. Ritchie, civil rights attorney and author of Invisible No More. Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color 
Women & LGBT Persons: The special problems with the treatment of women and LGBT people in the criminal justice system

> CLICK TO VIEW A VIDEO of Andrea Ritchie's talk

October 22 | The Very Rev. Andrew McGowan, Dean of the Berkeley Divinity School, Yale University
Beyond Prayer: How faith communities engage with integrity and impact 

> CLICK TO VIEW A VIDEO of Dean McGowan's talk
CLICK TO VIEW THE TEXT of Dean McGowan's sermon, "Rendering to Caesar: Citizenship After Christendom"

October 29 | Dr. David Olson, Professor of Criminal Justice & Criminology, Loyola University
Who Pays: The real costs of excessive criminalization and excessive incarceration

> CLICK TO VIEW A VIDEO of David Olson's talk

November 05 | Pam Rodriquez, President and CEO, Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities
Diversion: Adult and juvenile alternatives to incarceration

> CLICK TO VIEW A VIDEO of Pam Rodriguez's talk

November 12 | Paula Wolff, Director of the Illinois Justice Project
Criminal Justice Reform, A Historical Perspective

> CLICK TO VIEW A VIDEO of Paula Wolff's talk

November 19 | Toni Preckwinkle, President, Cook County Board
County Reform Initiatives: Progress and next steps

> CLICK TO VIEW A VIDEO of Toni Preckwinkle's talk

November 26 | Nate Steinfeld, Research Director, Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council 
Illinois Reform Initiatives: Proposals, Actions and Practical Implications
> CLICK TO VIEW A VIDEO of Nate Steinfeld's talk

December 3 |  Mark Ishaug, CEO, and Jill Valbuena, Justice Program Director, Thresholds
Who: Who is in prison and what affect does imprisonment have on them, with a focus on mental health issues

> CLICK TO VIEW A VIDEO of the presentation given by Mark Ishaug and Jill Valbuena

December 10 | Ben Ruddell, Director of the Criminal Justice Program of the ACLU – Illinois Chapter
Reentry After Release From Prison and Pending Criminal Justice Reform Legislation

> CLICK TO VIEW A VIDEO of Ben Ruddell's talk

December 17 | The Rev. Al Sharp, Executive Director of Clergy for a New Drug Policy and former Interim Executive Director of Community Renewal Society
Lessons Learned & Next Steps: Review of the discussions to date and of ways we can get involved in helping to interrupt the race to incarcerate and to improve the process of release and reentry 

January 7, 2018 | Erwin Mayer, Executive Director St. Leonard’s Ministries, a ministry of Episcopal Charities 
Release and Reentry—Issues facing those who leave prison and an introduction to the residential, case management and employment services of St. Leonard’s Ministries for those released from prison without the resources needed to rebuild their lives. 

> CLICK TO VIEW A VIDEO of Erwin Mayer's talk