Want to Learn More about Prison Reform and Immigration Detention? Check Out the Lunch Events This Week!

November 2: End It, Don’t Mend It!: Abolition & the Mainstreaming of Prison and Police Reform

Date: Monday, Nov. 2, 2015
Time: 12:30 – 1:20 PM
Location: William H. Gates Hall, RM 127 unless otherwise noted

IMAP Event Flyer

November 3 & 10: Two-Part Social Justice Tuesday Presentations – Resistance to Immigration Detention: From the Local to the National

SJT

Date: Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015; Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015
Time: 12:30 – 1:20 PM
Location: William H. Gates Hall, RM 127 unless otherwise noted

In the absence of effective immigration reform, the federal government’s use of detention as an immigration enforcement strategy has increased exponentially.  To keep up with the national quota that requires Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to maintain no less than 34,000 immigration detention beds at all times, immigrants, including lawful permanent residents and asylum seekers, are detained for months and sometimes years. Conditions of confinement in immigration detention facilities are deplorable and yet there are no enforceable regulations that govern management of the detention facilities.  Without access to affordable legal services, conditions of confinement often go unaddressed and immigrant detainees remain particularly vulnerable.  While detained individuals and their families suffer greatly, the private prison industry that contracts with the government to oversee immigration detention facilities are using “guaranteed minimum” contract provisions to maintain profits whether the beds are filled or not.  This contract scheme safeguards profits for private companies while incentivizing the incarceration of immigrants. Problematic partnerships between ICE and local law enforcement only exacerbate the problem, leading to the transfer of immigrants from jails and prisons to immigration detention centers.

Our two-part Social Justice Tuesday Presentations will address the proliferation of immigration detention and showcase stories and strategies of resistance and defiance both locally and nationally.

Tuesday, Nov. 3rd:  Panel 1:  The Problem and The Local Response:
The first panel will help frame our discussion and bring the problem to life. The panel will highlight immigrant activists who were on the front lines of the hunger strikes at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.  Their experiences and insights will lay the foundation a legal advocate from the ACLU of Washington to examine the role of lawyers in the detention resistance efforts.  The panel will conclude with the perspective of a community organizer who is engaged in fighting against the privatization of prisons.

Maru Mora Villalpando, Latino Advocacy /Northwest Detention Center Resistance
Maru Mora Villalpando is a bilingual community organizer, consultant and political analyst with more than 10 years of experience working on immigrant rights and racial justice issues. She is the founder of Latino Advocacy Inc. which provides consulting for non-profits in the areas of policy and membership development, workshops and meetings facilitation.

Margaret Chen, ACLU of Washington
Margaret Chen is a Staff Attorney at the ACLU of Washington  She was one of the attorneys that sought a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to prohibit U.S. Immigration and Enforcement (ICE) from retaliating against immigration detainees who engage in First Amendment-protected activities by placing them in solitary confinement.  The lawsuit grew out of events at the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) in Tacoma, Washington.  Several hundred detainees at (NWDC) initiated a hunger strike to express concerns with national immigration policy and to raise awareness about the conditions of their confinement.  In response, ICE began placing individuals in solitary confinement in retaliation for their support of the hunger strikes.

Andrea Lopez-Diaz, Community Organizer, Ending the Prison Industrial Complex/YUIR
Andrea Lopez-Diaz is a community organizer whose woks focuses on prison reform issues in Washington state.

If you would like lunch please RSVP via Symplicity or gatespsl@uw.edu RSVP by 12:00 pm Monday, November 2.

November 12: Fania Davis – Understanding the Intersection of Restorative and Racial Justice

Fania Davis Flyer

Date: Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015
Time: 6:30 PM
Location: Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute, 104 17th Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98144

FREE ENTRY.  Join us for a casual reception starting at 5:30 PM.  Light refreshments will be served.

Fania Davis is a founder and current Director of RJOY (Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth). She has been active for many decades in the civil rights, Black liberation, women’s, prisoners’, peace, anti-racial violence and anti-apartheid movements.

Founded in 2005, RJOY focuses on reducing racial disparities by promoting restorative approaches that engage families, communities, and systems. Beginning in 2007, RJOY’s West Oakland Middle School pilot project eliminated violence and expulsions, and reduced suspension rates by 87%.

For more information, click here.


December 10 – 13: Early Bird Rates Ends November 6! Register Now for Conference on Advancing Human Rights 2015 – Sharpening Our Vision, Reclaiming Our Dreams

 

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Date: Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015 – Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015
Time: 5:00 AM EST – 5:00 AM EST
Location: Hilton Austin, 500 E. 4th St., Austin, TX 78701

This year’s conference theme is Sharpening our Vision, Reclaiming our Dreams. This theme reflects the deep need to re-center an economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR) agenda as a key component of our movement work. Building off of Martin Luther King, Jr’s Poor People’s Campaign and his understanding that an end to racial oppression requires addressing poverty and all human rights, we seek to re-affirm and elevate the link between inequality, violence, and the criminalization of economically and politically marginalized groups. Effective human rights movement building demands an intersectional approach in which equal attention is given to the role and impact of race, gender and gender identity, economic and social class, sexuality, disability, age, immigration status and other dimensions of our lives.

For more information, click here.

January 15: Save the Date! King County Bar Association Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Luncheon

KCBA 2016 Luncheon Banner

Date: Friday, Jan. 15, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: Seattle Sheraton Hotel, 1400 Sixth Ave., Seattle, WA

Keynote Speaker: 

C.T. Vivian

Additional Information about C.T. Vivian

  • Legendary Civil Rights Activist
  • Presidential Civil Rights Advisor
  • Founder, C.T. Vivian Leadership Institute

Please join us on January 15 to honor and celebrate Dr. King’s birthday and his legacy.

Questions, please call the KCBA CLE & Events Department at 206.267.7067.

New Study Raises Questions on Fairness in Harsh Prison Sentences

2016 Equal Justice Works Fellowship Applications Open!

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The application for the 2016 Equal Justice Works Fellowship is open until 5 p.m. EDT on September 18, 2015. Learn more about our fellowships and the application by:

Don’t forget to talk with Aline Carton-Listfjeld at the Center for Public Service Law before applying for an Equal Justice Works Fellowship.

Harsh Prison Sentences Swell Ranks of Lifers and Raise Questions About Fairness, Study Finds

By Deborah Bach | UW Today

Prison in Washington

Stricter state sentencing laws in Washington have swelled the ranks of inmates serving life sentences to nearly one in five.

And some lifers who opted to go to trial are serving much longer sentences than others who committed the same crimes and plea-bargained — raising questions about equitable treatment of prisoners.

Those are among the findings in a new analysis by undergraduate honors students in the University of Washington’s Law, Societies & Justice program, who sought to determine the number of lifers in Washington prisons, the legal processes that lead to life sentences and the cost of housing those inmates, many of whom will die behind bars.

Continue reading here.

Photo courtesy of David McSpadden / Flickr

Upcoming Events on the Syrian War, Mass Incarceration, Holocaust Remembrance, and Health & the Environment

April 28: Global Mondays – Spotlight on the Syrian Civil War

Syrian Flag

Photo courtesy of StockVault and Nicolas Raymond

Monday, Apr. 28, 2014
12:30 PM – 1:20 PM

“Prospects for accountability in the Syrian Civil War”
Frederick Michael Lorenz JD, LLM, Adjunct Senior Lecturer, UW School of Law 

Hosted by the International Law Society and the Center for Human Rights and Justice 

Frederick Lorenz served in the US Marine Corps for twenty-seven years as a judge advocate, including a tour as an infantry company commander. In 1992 he joined the First Marine Expeditionary Force and was the senior legal advisor for the United Nations authorized military intervention in Somalia, and returned there as senior legal advisor for the UN evacuation in 1995. In 1996 he served in Bosnia as a legal advisor for the NATO implementation force, and went on to teach Political Science at the National Defense University. After his retirement from the Marine Corps as a colonel in 1998 he spent a year as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in St Petersburg, Russia, teaching courses in international law, environmental law and US foreign policy. In 2000 he served as a United Nations legal affairs officer in Kosovo, working in the UN Civil Administration. He is currently a Senior Lecturer at the Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at the UW School of Law. He is a Senior Peace Fellow for the Public International Law and Policy Group, with missions in the Republic of Georgia and Armenia in 2006 and 2007, and three US State Department sponsored trips to Somaliland in between 2008 and 2010.

April 29: Social Justice Tuesday- Radical Lawyering Panel

Tuesday, April 29, 12:30-1:20pm in Room 133

The UW National Lawyers Guild Student Chapter is hosting a panel of radical lawyers to share their experiences as lawyers for the people! Whether you are interested in exploring new ways to engage with justice issues as a member of the legal community, curious to hear stories from local leaders and activists, or simply need a reminder that your JD can enable you to be a force for good in the world, come join us and hear our speakers.

Speaker Bios:

Jenn Kaplan is the current vice president of the Seattle chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and an attorney at The Law Office of Gilbert Levy, a criminal defense and civil rights firm in Seattle. In addition to practicing general criminal defense, Jenn maintains a docket of political cases, representing anarchist, animal rights, Occupy Seattle, and other progressive activists in various capacities. Jenn is a graduate of New York University and the University of Washington School of Law.

Devin Theriot-Orr is a 2003 graduate of UW Law where he was a member of the immigration and appellate advocacy clinics. He is presently a senior attorney at Gibbs Houston Pauw, where he represents noncitizens in deportation proceedings, visa petition proceedings, and complex, federal litigation, including class actions. Devin is also a member of the local technology collective riseup.net, providing secure communications tools for activists since 1999. Devin teaches immigration law as an adjunct professor at Seattle University.

Martha L. Schmidt  is a graduate of the University of Washington (L.L.M,  Law and Marine Affairs) and the University of Wisconsin (J.D.) Her diverse practice focuses on employment and labor law, focusing on conflict resolution in the work place on behalf employees, using mediation, collaborative law, conflict coaching and training. She was also an attorney/organizer for the Seattle Worker Center, the first staff attorney for the Unemployment Law Project, and a Juvenile defender in Snohomish and Island counties. She also is an international human rights law consultant, and has served as an election / trial observer in El Salvador, Venezuela, and Peru.

April 29: Reversing the Effects of Mass Incarceration: Ways to Reform the Criminal Justice System

jail hands

Tuesday, Apr. 29, 2014
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM, Gates Hall RM 133

The incarceration rate in the United States is the highest in the world, which has led some to call our current criminal justice structure a system of Mass Incarceration. This system—which contains over 2 million people in American prisons and jails—has decimated communities, especially those of color, created two tiers of justice, one for the rich and the other for the poor, and, in some instances, has resulted in government spending more money on incarceration than education. 

The University of Washington School of Law and the Gates Public Service Law Program invites you to a forum on how we as a community can reverse the effects of Mass Incarceration through implementing criminal justice reforms. The forum will cover sentencing reform, prison rehabilitation programs, and prison reentry.

RSVP here.

April 30: Yom HaShoah: Universal Perspectives on Holocaust Remembrance

Wednesday, Apr. 30, 2014
12:30 – 1:20 PM
William H. Gates Hall, RM 119

Holocaust Remembrance Bracelet

Guest Speaker: Reut Cohen, New Israel Fund Civil Liberties Law Program Fellow
Respondents: Rabbi Oren Hayon, Hillel UW; UW Professor Stephen Rosenbaum, UW Law

As the Holocaust (Shoah) is observed throughout the world this week and the UW community welcomes jurist, memoirist and concentration camp survivor Thomas Buergenthal, it is a fitting time to consider the contemporary commemoration of state-sponsored murder by the Nazi regime. Lawyer/Activist Reut Cohen writes: “We Israelis grow up in the shadows of the Holocaust. It’s always there and always very present. I don’t this this is necessarily bad, but I recognize two possible educational messages that derive from this: the first is ‘We must never let this happen us (Jews/Israel) again and have to do everything in order to prevent it’ and the second is ‘We must never let this happen again to any other nation or people.'”

Co-sponsors: (partial list)
Wm. H. Gates Public Service Law Program, Center for Human Rights, Law Societies and Justice, Hillel UW, Jewish Law Students Ass’n (UW Law), Center for Human Rights and Justice (UW Law)

May 6: Human Rights Webinar: Focus on Right to a Healthy Environment

pollution

Tuesday, May 6, 2014
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM CT
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM ET

The Local Human Rights Lawyering Project holds regular webinars to introduce legal aid attorneys to the Human Rights in the U.S. Handbook for Legal Aid Attorneys.  This webinar will focus on a new section of the Handbook that covers the right to a healthy environment.  The new section of the Handbook will be available shortly before the webinar on our website.

To register for this free webinar, click here.