Beyond the Bars 2020 – Save the Date!

We are excited to announce the dates for Beyond the Bars 2020!

Save the Date!
Beyond the Bars
March 5-8, 2020

Mark your calendars! Join us for the 10th annual Beyond the Bars Conference where we will continue to convene, connect and build movement work to end mass incarceration and criminalization.  As in years past, the conference will be an extended time and place where issues of strategy are discussed, differences debated, mobilization around key issues takes place, and community is built and maintained. We look forward to seeing you in March!

Beyond the Bars 2019 Recap: Videos, Programs and More

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 9th annual Beyond the Bars Conference, this year focusing on the incarceration and criminalization of women and girls, as well as their families and communities, inclusive of transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people.  We are continually humbled by the strength and diversity of the movement to end mass incarceration and mass criminalization and are thankful to all of those who spent the weekend with us, and to the many who tuned in via livestream.  Below are a number of things from the conference to check out!

PROGRAMS

SPEAKER BIOS for FRIDAY AND SATURDAY

VIDEOS from THURSDAY – SATURDAY 

CONFERENCE PHOTOS

  • Coming Soon!

MEET THE 2018-2019 BEYOND THE BARS FELLOWS

Beyond the Bars 2019: Register Now!

Register Now!

Join us for the 9th Annual Beyond the Bars Conference of the Center for Justice at Columbia University that will focus on both the incarceration and criminalization of women and girls themselves as well as of their families and communities. Our focus is inclusive of transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people. The many struggles for justice, equity and safety led by women and girls directly impacted by the criminal legal system will be at the heart of the conference as we create a space to further strengthen and advance change. Beyond the Bars 2019 will continue developing the collaboration between universities and the many ongoing efforts to end mass incarceration.

It is our hope that this conference will bolster efforts to challenge the impacts of incarceration and criminalization on women and girls in the following ways:

  • Convene and support a national and international network of women and organizations to share and advance strategy and resources
  • Help articulate and amplify a feminist vision and analysis
  • Address difficult issues and questions within the movements to end gender-based violence and criminalization and incarceration
  • Strengthen and amplify the growing voices and roles of directly impacted women and girls
  • Enhance the knowledge and skills for a broad range of change makers
  • Further catalyze university involvement in the struggle to end mass incarceration

Register Now!

 
Thursday March 7th – Until She’s Free: A Night of Culture 
(Doors at 6:30pm – Event Starts at 7:00pm)

 Location: MIST Harlem

Friday March 8th – Building the Movement
Location: Lerner Hall, Columbia University
(Doors at 6:45pm – Event Starts at 7:30pm

Saturday March 9th – Until She’s Free: Panels & Breakout Sessions
Location: Columbia School of Social Work

(Registration and Continental Breakfast Begins at 8:45am – Panels Start at 9:30am)

Saturday March 9th – Film Screenings & Talkbacks 

Location: Columbia School of Social Work
(Film screenings will begin at 5:30pm)

Sunday March 10th – Building the Movement: Organizing Workshops

Location: Columbia School of Social Work
(Registration and Continental Break Begins at 9:30am – Program Starts at 10am)

Beyond the Bars 2019: Call for Artists

The 9th Annual Beyond the Bars Conference at Columbia University is seeking artwork in response to the theme of this year’s conference focusing on women and girls: the impact of incarceration and criminalization on women and girls, their families and communities. The many struggles for justice, equity and safety led by women directly impacted by the criminal justice system will be at the heart of the conference as we create a space to design change.

We encourage submissions from women, artists from the LGBTQ+ community, and artists whose work represents experiences and identities that are often underrepresented in the arts. We look forward to seeing your work.

Application submission:
The deadline is February 15, 2019

Submit an artist application at:
https://bit.ly/2FTQxYs

Questions?
artsculture2019@gmail.com

Beyond the Bars 2019 – Request for Proposals

The 9th Annual Beyond the Bars Conference of the Center for Justice at Columbia University will focus on both the incarceration and criminalization of women and girls themselves as well as of their families and communities. Our focus is inclusive of transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people. The many struggles for justice, equity and safety led by women and girls directly impacted by the criminal legal system will be at the heart of the conference as we create a space to further strengthen and advance change. Beyond the Bars 2019 will continue developing the collaboration between universities and the many ongoing efforts to end mass incarceration.

It is our hope that this conference will bolster efforts to challenge the impacts of incarceration and criminalization on women and girls in the following ways:

  • Convene and support a national and international network of women and organizations to share and advance resources
  • Help articulate and amplify a feminist vision and analysis
  • Address difficult issues and questions within the movements to end gender-based violence and criminalization and incarceration  
  • Strengthen and amplify the growing voices and roles of directly impacted women and girls
  • Enhance the knowledge and skills for a broad range of change makers
  • Further catalyze university involvement in the struggle to end mass incarceration

Sunday March 10, 2019, the fourth day of the Beyond the Bars conference will feature a collection of ninety minute organizing workshops. These sessions are designed to facilitate learning about relevant issues, skill sharing, and the development of tools for advocacy and organizing to actively engage in justice work as it pertains to the impacts of criminalization and incarceration on women and girls. It is our intention that the workshops offer a chance to further understand the nuances and dynamics of womens’ and girls’ struggles in connection to mass incarceration. Also, to teach new tools for advocacy and organizing and to connect participants to opportunities for continued engagement beyond the conference. What skills do you wish more people had?  What do people need to know in order to contribute more effectively to your work? What are the concrete steps people can take today to support the work that you’re doing? We are particularly committed to highlighting the voices and organizing led by: people of color, women, queer and transgender people, non-binary and gender non-conforming people, young people, and people directly impacted by incarceration and the criminal legal system.

We are interested in proposals that facilitate learning about the issues,skill sharing, and the development of tools for advocacy and organizing around a broad range of issues related to women and girls impacted by mass incarceration and criminalization. These include but are not limited to:

  • Strategies to decrease the number of women and girls detained and incarcerated
  • Impacts of incarceration on women and girls in and out of prison and jail
  • Addressing and supporting women in the community who are impacted by the incarceration of family members
  • Criminalization of survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and forced sex work
  • School to prison pipeline and the criminalization of young women and girls
  • Addressing the mental and physical health of women and girls impacted by incarceration and criminalization
  • Experiences and needs of LGBTQI, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people under correctional control
  • Supporting women and girls impacted by immigration policies
  • Practices and tools that support a healing process for women and girls who have been impacted by incarceration and criminalization
  • Building coalitions to organize, advocate and support women and girls impacted by incarceration
  • Strengthening the parental rights for mothers who are incarcerated or returning home from incarceration
  • Public advocacy specifically designed to empower women and girls with involvement in the criminal justice system
  • Campaigns and initiatives related to ending mass criminalization, incarceration and supervision of women and girls
  • Approaches to prison abolition
  • Restorative and transformative justice

We invite proposals for workshops that address one or more of these related topics and skills.

In your proposal, please emphasize tangible takeaways for participants and the ways you will facilitate this through active participation and/or gaining a deeper understanding of an issue.

Accepted proposals will be interactive and bridge the gap from analysis to action. We are especially excited about workshops that provide the opportunities and/or resources for continued involvement after the conference weekend—either through one’s individual actions or through involvement with a group.

All workshops will be 90-minute blocks and take place on Sunday, March 10, 2019 at Columbia University School of Social Work.

Please include in your proposal: the materials you will need for your workshop (e.g. projector, paper, markers, etc.)

To submit a proposal, please fill out this form by Friday, February 1, 2019 at 11:59PM EST.

Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or comments at: btbworkshops2019@gmail.com

Beyond the Bars 2019 – Save the Date

Save the Date!
Beyond the Bars
March 7-10, 2019

Registration will open February 18th! 

The 9th Annual Beyond the Bars Conference of the Center for Justice at Columbia University will focus on both the incarceration and criminalization of women and girls themselves as well as of their families and communities. Our focus is inclusive of transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people. The many struggles for justice, equity and safety led by women and girls directly impacted by the criminal legal system will be at the heart of the conference as we create a space to further strengthen and advance change. Beyond the Bars 2019 will continue developing the collaboration between universities and the many ongoing efforts to end mass incarceration.

It is our hope that this conference will bolster efforts to challenge the impacts of incarceration and criminalization on women and girls in the following ways:

  • Convene and support a national and international network of women and organizations to share and advance resources
  • Help articulate and amplify a feminist vision and analysis
  • Address difficult issues and questions within the movements to end gender-based violence and criminalization and incarceration
  • Strengthen and amplify the growing voices and roles of directly impacted women and girls
  • Enhance the knowledge and skills for a broad range of change makers
  • Further catalyze university involvement in the struggle to end mass incarceration

Fall Trainings

We have a number of great trainings happening this fall all with the aim of supporting people who are advancing alternative approaches to justice, safety, healing and accountability. Please join us!

Responding Restoratively: An Introduction to Restorative Principles and Practices
with Sethu Nair and Cameron Rasmussen

November 2nd-4th, 2018
9:30-5:00pmColumbia School of Social Work
1255 Amsterdam AveThis is an introductory training to the principles and practices of restorative justice and restorative approaches to conflict resolution. Participants will learn the ethos of restorative approaches including underlying theory and values as well as experience and learn some foundational tools to respond to conflict and harm in a restorative way. Participants will learn how to facilitate restorative community building circles and less formalized restorative responses.

REGISTER HERE: https://restorativeresponses.eventbrite.com

Full Circle: Reclaiming and Reconnecting to Our Restorative Practices
with Whitney Richards-Calathes

November 9th-11th, 2018
9:30-5:00pmColumbia School of Social Work

1255 Amsterdam AveThis three day experience is an opportunity for those who identify as a people of color to collectively explore restorative/transformative justice and circle practice and philosophy. It is an invitation to reconnect with our indigenous roots, our ethnic identities, and our cultural practices.  How do we ensure that restorative action is always in alignment with racial justice? How do we reclaim circle keeping as a cultural tool as well as an abolitionist stance? How can we embody transformations away from punishment as transformations away from white supremacy too?  This training will give tools and information, but it will also be highly experiential. All levels of experience with RJ are welcome, but this is an opportunity specifically for people that identify as people of color, that work predominantly in spaces with people of color.

REGISTER HERE: https://reclaimingrestorative.eventbrite.com

The Empathic Facilitator: Leading A Transformative Group Process
With Piper Anderson

November 30th – December 1st
9:00-5:00pm

The Empathic Facilitator is a two-day training for anyone who leads groups and wants to develop the skills to lead a transformative change process. The principles and practices learned in this training can be adapted for a range of settings and groups whether you regularly facilitate workshops, team meetings, or offer one-on-one coaching.

REGISTER HERE: https://empathicfacilitatorfall2018.eventbrite.com

Center for Justice receives grant from the NoVo Foundation’s Radical Hope Fund for new initiative, Women Transcending

The Center for Justice is excited to share that we have been granted funding from the Novo Foundation’s Radical Hope Fund for our newest Initiative, Women Transcending.

Women Transcending was developed by and for women impacted by mass incarceration. It is dedicated to ending the system of mass incarceration, criminalization, and retribution, replacing it with one centered on prevention and healing. Radical Hope funding will be used to support an education center providing the tools, training, skills, movement history, leadership development, peer mentoring, platform, and vibrant community that women need to become transformative social justice advocates. Participants will develop strategies to confront the criminalization of women, their families, and communities; support women returning home from prison; document the growth of directly impacted women’s leadership, and ultimately change the structure of justice in the United States and beyond.

You can read more about the Radical Hope Fund and the other grantees HERE

Op-Ed from Bruce Western and Bernard Harcourt on Parole Reform and the Case of Herman Bell

Columbia Law Professor Bernard Harcourt and Columbia Justice Lab Director and Professor of Criminal Justice Policy at Harvard University Bruce Western co-wrote an op-ed in the Daily News on the case for parole reform and the case of Herman Bell.

Harcourt and Western write “New York’s new parole rules bring the state more into line with international standards and acknowledge a reality uncovered by criminologists. Criminal offending declines with age, and virtually all people convicted of crimes ultimately cease their involvement in crime at some point in their lives. With very long prison sentences, we inevitably incarcerate people who pose no risk to society.

Just as important as the research evidence, the new parole rules acknowledge that unending terms of incarceration do too little to heal the pain of communities and families harmed by serious violence. The new parole rules express a belief that debts can be paid, and those who have caused terrible pain to others, like Bell, are nevertheless worthy of redemption.”

You can read the full article on the Daily News site here:

Why Should We Keep Murderers in Prison Until They Die? 

You can also read more about our work on parole reform from our report Aging in Prison: Reducing Elder Incarceration and Promoting Public Safety.

 

Beyond the Bars 2018 – Save the Date

Save the Date! 
Beyond the Bars: Closing Jails and Prisons
March 1-4, 2018

The 8th annual Beyond the Bars Conference of the Center for Justice at Columbia University seeks to contribute to the growing movement to close jails and prisons as a part of the larger struggle to end mass incarceration. In particular, we will focus on elevating the efforts led by grassroots organizers that include formerly incarcerated and directly impacted people.

Prison and jail closings have been taking place unevenly throughout the United States over the past decade. However, campaigns like the ones in New York, Los Angeles, and Milwaukee have helped to usher in a new phase, one that highlights the role of grassroots organizing and directly impacted leadership, and that has begun to put forth a more transformative vision of how to close jails and prisons and what comes in their place. Momentum for lasting change is building. Organizers, activists and scholars have been grappling with many of the deeply seeded issues related to incarceration and criminalization. From the movement to close youth prisons entirely, to centering the fight for racial justice, to highlighting the ways that women and lgbtq community are impacted, to focusing on the elderly inside prisons with long sentences that are about punishment not safety, to interrogating the effectiveness of punishment in reducing violence, we are at a moment where we are able to make concrete advances in reducing the carceral footprint.

It is our hope that this conference will bolster these efforts in the following ways:

  • Convene and support a national network of people and organizations working to close jails and prisons across the country
  • Help articulate a vision and analysis for closing jails and prisons and what comes in its place
  • Address and examine some of the difficult issues and questions that arise in the efforts to close jails and prison
  • Further catalyze university involvement in the struggle to end mass incarceration