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Liman Colloquium: Punishment, Circa 2014: The State of Corrections

The seventeenth annual Liman Public Interest Colloquium, Isolation and Reintegration: Punishment Circa 2014, will be held at Yale Law School on April 3, 2014. The colloquium, focused on incarceration, will consider ways to reduce the isolation of prisoners, both in terms of the distance they live from their communities and in terms of the degree to which they are isolated within prisons. Panelists include those who run prisons, those who sentence people to prison, those who represent incarcerated people, those who have spent time in prison, those who study prisons, and those who regulate prisons.

The Colloquium will begin at 4:15 p.m. with a panel discussion of The State of Corrections and Its Alternatives. Speakers include the directors of two state correction departments — Harold Clarke, Director of the Virginia Department of Corrections and Rick Raemisch, Director of the Colorado Department of Corrections. They are joined by the Honorable Patti Saris, who chairs the U.S. Sentencing Commission and is the Chief Judge of the federal district court of Massachusetts and the Honorable Myron Thompson, who graduated from Yale Law School in 1972 and has been on the federal bench, as a U.S. District Judge for the District of Alabama, since 1980, and by Nicholas Turner, a 1996 graduate of the Law School and the President of the Vera Institute of Justice. The discussion will be moderated by Judith Resnik, Arthur Liman Professor of Law.

The second panel, Visiting Prisons, explores the regulation, operation, and impact of visiting prisons. The discussion draws on the Liman Program’s report Prison Visitation Policies: A Fifty State Survey, and the responses to it, which will be published by the Yale Law and Policy Review. Discussants include Aaron Littman ’14, one of the student authors of the study, and other authors of articles in the symposium — David Fathi, who directs the ACLU National Prison Project; Giovanna Shay, who graduated in 1997 and is a Professor of Law, Western New England School of Law and the Chair-Elect of the Association of American Law Schools’ Section on Criminal Justice; A.T. Wall II, class of 1980 and the current Director of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections and the President of the Association of State Correctional Directors; and Paul Wright, who is the President and Founder of Prison Legal News. The moderator will be Andrea Armstrong, class of 2007, Associate Professor at Loyola Law School, and an active board member for the Capital Appeals Project and Promise of Justice Initiative, a new non-profit in New Orleans that advances prisoners’ rights.

The focus of the Colloquium dovetails with recent work by the Liman Program, including its statement, The Policies Governing Isolation in U.S. Prisons, submitted to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, which in February, 2014, held a bipartisan hearing Reassessing Solitary Confinement II: The Human Rights, Fiscal and Public Safety Consequences.

The Liman Colloquium is co-sponsored by Yale Law School and the Arthur Liman Public Interest Program, with the support of the Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund.