Recent events have highlighted problems with the criminal justice system and our larger social fabric, both locally and across the country. This 4-week online series of presentations will give new insights and perspectives regarding criminal justice issues. Participants will hear from an advocate for eliminating mandatory minimum sentences, from attorneys on the front line in protecting the most vulnerable among us, and from an author and activist. These expert speakers will discuss the human and financial costs of our system, the history of our laws, and new approaches. We will also examine our civil rights history, which is tied closely to the criminal justice system. Our presenters will be Molly Gill, VP of Families Against Mandatory Minimums [Sentences]; representatives from Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative; and activist and author Sister Helen Prejean. Each session will last 75 minutes. This class is open to residents of The Forest at Duke. Lecture + Q&A; Facilitated discussion.
Mark Hall knows these issues because he served ten years in prison, learning from fellow prisoners about the addiction, homelessness, and other issues in their lives. At fifty, after a life of privilege and career success, Mark was sentenced to prison for financial crimes. He acknowledged his actions and sought to change his life. During his time of incarceration, he made many discoveries worth sharing. Now active with the Durham Rescue Mission and other organizations, he has earned a Duke certificate in nonprofit management and will soon complete an MBA.
Monday, Jan. 04, Session #1: Mark Hall, The 10-year Journey and Discoveries Made from Behind Prison Walls.
Monday, Jan. 11, Session #1: The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), founded by Brian Stevenson and featured in the book and movie Just Mercy.
Monday, Jan. 18, Session #3: Molly Gill, JD., Vice President of Policy for Families Against Minimums (FAMM), a nonpartisan, nonprofit sentencing reform organization.
Monday, Jan. 25, Session #4: Sister Helen Prejean, a leading American activist and advocate for the abolition of the death penalty and author of Dead Man Walking and River of Fire. Sister Prejean wrote this recent op-ed article in The Washington Post.