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Upcoming Educational Sessions on Racial Justice and Imprisonment

Do you have questions or concerns about racial disparities in the criminal justice system and how they play out in our courts and prisons? This fall is a great time for you to learn more!

Several upcoming programs will be of special interest to those who have participated in our forums on racial disparities in the criminal justice system, our Urgency of Now action team, and the court observer program, but all are welcome to attend.

These events are being offered at Fountain of Life Church on Madison’s south side. Fountain of Life and the Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership are community leaders on this topic, and many TBE members have taken advantage of their illuminating programs.

Lessons from the Court Observer Program So Far
Tuesday, September 17, 6:30–8:00 pm at Fountain of Life, 633 W. Badger Rd.
Leaders will present and discuss aggregate information from the almost 350 submitted observations in the court observer program. What have we learned? Where do we go from here? Please respond to if you plan to attend.

Race, Politics, and Punitiveness: Trends in the Racial Patterns of Mass Incarceration
Sunday, September 29, 2:00–3:00 pm, Pyle Center Auditorium, UW Campus
This is a free lecture by Pam Oliver, UW professor emeritus of sociology and a well-known researcher in this area. No registration needed.

Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System
Tuesdays, October 8, 15, and 22, 6:000–8:00 pm at Fountain of Life, 633 W. Badger Rd.
These three 2-hour workshops, led by Dr. Karen Reece of the Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership, are designed to educate the general public on mass incarceration and the criminal justice system in general.

With over 2 million prisoners, the United States incarcerates more people than any other country in the world. The U.S. prison population has quintupled since 1980. Although African Americans are about 12 percent of the U.S. population, they make up approximately 40 percent of the prison population. Wisconsin is widely known for incarcerating more African Americans per capita than any other state.

Still, maybe you ask yourself: Is this something I should worry about? These people did the crime, they are doing the time—what's the problem? How does this affect my community? Join us for one or all of these sessions as we address these questions.

  • Mass Incarceration Defined: What's the Problem? We will provide an overview of incarceration in the United States and what it means for our communities.
  • The Prison System: Purpose & Programming. We will describe the Wisconsin prison system, its purpose, and what an inmate might experience.
  • Community Corrections: Life after Prison. We will explain the ins and outs of Wisconsin's community corrections system, which encompasses probation, parole, and extended supervision.

Podcast on the Court Observer Program
If podcasts are more your style, you’ll be interested in the Reverend Alex Gee’s interviews with three members of the court observer program’s steering committee. Listen to this recent episode of his podcast Black Like Me at


January 29, 2020 3 Sh'vat 5780