Director of Media Relations
What: A community forum on prison reform takes place at Saint Maryâ€™s College of California on Thursday, October 1, 2009. Hosted by Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, â€œThe Cost of Correctionsâ€ examines the impact of Californiaâ€™s prison system on the stateâ€™s budget, public safety and communities.
Forum panelists include Ronald Ahnen, a politics professor at Saint Maryâ€™s College. Ahnen teaches courses on prison reform, such as â€œEnding Sentences: Life Behind and Beyond Bars,â€ and is president of California Prison Focus - a human rights advocacy group working to abolish the stateâ€™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 Maryâ€™s College of California
1928 St. Maryâ€™s Road, Moraga, Calif. 94556
Cost: Free and open to the public.
Background: 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 Californiaâ€™s criminal justice system. In September, the California Legislature passed a bill aimed at corrections reform. Assemblymember Skinnerâ€™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, (510) 286-1400.
Saint Maryâ€™s College of California was founded in 1863 and is based in Catholic, Lasallian and liberal arts traditions. The college currently enrolls more than 3,800 students in undergraduate and graduate programs. For more than 140 years the College has been guided by the Christian Brothers, the Catholic Churchâ€™s oldest order dedicated exclusively to teaching.