October 14, 2016

Students to Hold Summit on Criminal Justice

A conference Saturday at the Harris School will consider criminal justice in the Chicagoland area with a keynote by one of Cook County’s leading elected officials. 

This inaugural summit features four panels, a workshop, a keynote presentation by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, and a final address from Reverend Alexander Sharp.  

The summit, called “A New Way Forward: Criminal Justice in Chicago and Cook County,” will be hosted by the University of Chicago’s Students for Criminal Justice Reform (SCJR), and will run 8 a.m.–4 p.m. 

Topics that will be covered during the conference’s four panels include: jail and prison reform, policing strategies for improving community relations, courts and the legal system, and community and youth engagement. Panels will involve discussions from judges, government officials, nonprofit members, and other community leaders. Admission is free, with priority for undergraduate and graduate students from around the Chicagoland area. 

SCJR, founded in October 2015 by a group of four Harris School students, serves to “bring consciousness to the ideas that are surrounding the criminal justice system and hopefully move toward advocacy, and to connect the students and the community at large,” according to co-founder Barbara Barreno-Paschall.  

“I see this organization as becoming one of the most vibrant groups at the University of Chicago—one that is visionary and constantly rethinking how we do criminal justice, one that is constructive in how we provide and advocate for solutions for the community,” added co-founder Daniel Kowalski.