Community criminal justice conference set for Oct. 17-18

A free two-day conference Oct. 17-18 at Eastern Mennonite University will bring together community stakeholders for discussions and planning around reducing incarceration and recidivism in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, Virginia.

The event is a collaboration between EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding and The Institute for Reform & Solution, a nonprofit organization that advocates for greater education and understanding of criminal justice reforms. Each year, it brings the participation of people of all backgrounds and ages to advocate for structural reforms inside the criminal justice system.

Registration is now open.

The event will focus on the theme “Breaking the Cycle.” Topics include:

  • Transformative and restorative justice
  • Innovative programs in reentry
  • Addressing childhood trauma
  • Addictions and mental health treatment
  • Immigration detention and reform
  • Workforce training and adult basic education programs
  • Therapeutic approaches to reduce juvenile detention
  • Partnerships for housing to alleviate chronic homelessness
  • Partnerships for housing and employment
  • Candidates’ forums for the Nov. 2019 area elections
  • marijuana justice: considerations for the Commonwealth.

The Institute, founded in 2012, seeks to facilitate reform and the development of “cost effective, restorative and balanced solutions to address the dysfunctions of the criminal justice system,” according to its website. CEO and founder Nancy Insco has worked as the warden of a Delaware prison, served as director of the Governor’s Office of Justice Assistance in Maryland, and began advocacy programming at Middle River Regional Jail in Verona, Virginia, for incarcerated women, it states.

“We are committed to the widespread education of government officials, and the public, regarding the injustices inherent in the criminal justice processes,” Insco said.