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The Price Paid

Former inmate Susan Burton, whose Friday evening discussion will follow a screening of Incarceration Nation.

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 5, 2018) — Author, activist and former inmate Susan Burton will talk about her life and work Friday evening as part of the keynote event at the School of Criminal Justice’s (SCJ) symposium "Incarcerating Girls and Women: Past and Present." Her discussion will follow a 7 p.m. screening of Incarceration Nation at Page Hall, 135 Western Ave., on the Downtown Campus.

The screening and discussion is free, and cosponsored by SCJ’s "Justice and Multiculturalism in the 21st Century" project and the NYS Writers Institute.

In Incarceration Nation, journalist Bill Moyers, interviews legal scholar Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, on the need to end the U.S. system of mass incarceration. The program includes an excerpt from the film Susan by Tessa Blake and Emma Hewitt, which tells the story of Burton, who built an organization in Los Angeles devoted to helping formerly incarcerated women rebuild their lives.

After drug abuse led to six prison terms in 17 years, Burton successfully completed a 100-day rehab program and dedicated herself to helping other women overcome personal histories of incarceration, poverty and addiction. She is the founder and executive director of A New Way of Life, a reentry project for former inmates, and author of Becoming Ms. Burton: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women.

Incarceration Symposium

The two-day symposium "Incarcerating Girls and Women: Past and Present” includes panels, a history roundtable and an exhibit presented by the Prison Public Memory Project in Hudson. It will be held April 6 and 7 in Husted Hall on the Downtown Campus and across the street at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany on Washington Avenue.

“The mission of the Justice and Multiculturalism initiative in the School of Criminal Justice is to bring together the larger community and academics who are engaged in research that can generate discussion and lead to partnerships,” said SCJ Professor Frankie Bailey, who organized the symposium. “We are delighted to host this symposium — especially because the scholars, practitioners and advocates joining us will be able to provide much needed context to help us understand the experiences of incarcerated girls and women and the impact on their families and communities.”

“Throughout our country’s history, academic studies and public discussions of incarceration largely ignored women’s experiences,” said William Alex Pridemore, dean of the School.

“Professor Bailey has assembled a compelling mix of scholars, advocates, practitioners, and film,” said Pridemore. “The symposium represents the leadership and public engagement we are lucky to possess as one of the nation’s very top ranked academic programs in criminal justice. This is an impressive event and our UAlbany School of Criminal Justice is proud to support and host Professor Bailey’s symposium.”

Symposium Highlights include:

Friday, April 6, First Unitarian Universalist Society

  • Current Issues Women, Incarceration and the Community, 2-2:45 p.m.
    With Alice Green, executive director, and Lauren Manning, assistant director, of the Center for Law and Justice in Albany
  • Historians Round Table, 3-4:30 p.m.
    With professors Tera Agyepong, DePaul University; Mara Dodge, Westfield State University; Cheryl Hicks, University of North Carolina, Charlotte; and Talitha LeFlouria, University of Virginia, Charlottesville.

Saturday, April 7, Husted Hall Amphitheater (106A)

  • Remembering Punishment and Protection in Hudson, N.Y., 9:30–11 a.m.
    A panel discussion on the work of the Prison Public Memory Project in Hudson, N.Y.; Hudson’s House of Refuge for Women and the NYS Training School for Girls (1887-1975); and the Training School for Girls in the 1960s/70s from the perspective of a former resident. Q&A with the audience follows the presentation.
  • Children of Incarcerated Mothers, 11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
    A Conversation with Professor Julie A. Poehlmann-Tynan, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Joan Hunt, project director, Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood
  • Interviews with Formerly Incarcerated Women, 12:15 -1 p.m.
    A Conversation with Professor Francis Prior, Assumption College, Worcester, Massachusetts

See the full symposium agenda. The symposium is free; you can register here.

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