What: A community forum on prison reform takes place at Saint Mary's College of California on Thursday, October 1, 2009. Hosted by Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, "The Cost of Corrections" examines the impact of California's prison system on the state's budget, public safety and communities.
Who: Forum panelists include Ronald Ahnen, a politics professor at Saint Mary's College. Ahnen teaches courses on prison reform, such as "Ending Sentences: Life Behind and Beyond Bars," and is president of California Prison Focus - a human rights advocacy group working to abolish the state's prison system in its present condition.
Additional participants include Jeanne Woodford, former director of the California Department of Corrections and former warden at San Quentin Prison.
When: Thursday, Oct. 1, 2009, 7 p.m.
Where: Soda Activity Center, Saint Mary's College of California, 1928 St. Mary's Road, Moraga, Calif. 94556
Free and open to the public.
Background information According to Skinner's office, California has the highest recidivism rate in the nation. Its prison population has increased by 73 percent since 1990. State spending for corrections has grown at nearly four times the rate of general spending overall. Many are calling for reform of California's criminal justice system. In September, the California Legislature passed a bill aimed at corrections reform. Assemblymember Skinner's forum will address the reforms that have occurred and whether they are working and sufficient.
For more information: contact Angela Ramirez Holmes, district director, Office of Assemblymember Nancy Skinner,
Angela.Ramirez@asm.ca.gov or call (510) 286-1400.