Saying that the first ever skills-based conference on criminal justice at the Columbia University School of Social Work was a success is an understatement. We at the Criminal Justice Caucus are overjoyed, if not slightly exhausted, at the amazing turnout, support, and comments that “Removing the Bars” received.
“Removing the Bars” not only provided a significant learning opportunity for students and professionals it also epitomized the ever-important goals of collaboration and cooperation. With volunteers from nearly every caucus and the Student Union Executive Board as well as seven workshops co-sponsored by fellow caucuses we are so grateful to be a part of this supportive student community.
Highlights include nearly 150 participants including volunteers. Students from various schools including NYU, Fordham, CUNY, and even Smith in Massachusetts were in attendance. Participants also represented organizations from various fields including social services, law, policy as well as an elected member of the New York State Assembly.
We had 30 presenters including the Reverend Dr. Emma Jordan-Simpson from the Children’s Defense Fund-NY who presented on the “Cradle to Prison Pipeline,” which can be seen by clicking on this link. The “Voices of People in the System” panel moderated by Dr. Kathy Boudin presented a unique opportunity to learn directly from those who have been or have family members who have been incarcerated.
Many topics and needs were expressed at the conference and everyone’s continued interest will help us to put on more events and skills-based conferences in the future to address those issues.
Please stay tuned for more highlights from the conference and information on Criminal Justice Caucus events.