The second Incarceration Form on pre-sentencing and entry into the criminal justice system was held on March 20, at St. Louis University’s, II Monastero hall in St. Louis, MO. The three panelists that addressed various topics of pre-sentencing included:
- Judge Milton Wharton, Retired, Criminal Court 12th Judicial Circuit, State of Illinois
- Dr. Michael Mancini, PhD, MSW, Associate Professor, Saint Louis University School of Social Work
- Michael Barrett, Director, Missouri State Public Defender
Each of the panelists addressed the following topics prior to table discussions:
- What are the biggest systemic challenges that you face in your work with individuals entering the criminal justice system?
- What do you see as the most promising and innovative solutions for reducing incarceration rates in Missouri and the Metro-East?
- What policies and practices can be used to reduce racial disparities in arrests and sentencing severity?
- How can reentry service providers (those on the “back end” of the criminal justice system) work with those involved in the “front end” of the system to take a comprehensive approach to criminal justice reform?
The table discussions were lively as those attending voiced their own work in the criminal justice system and how they gained new insight in the various paths that led juveniles, teenagers and young adults to the prison pipeline.
Many of the discussions centered on the children’s education process in the early years and use of restorative justice practices as peace circles, teen and adult drug courts, adult redeploy, and restorative justice circles in schools.
The question of reentry services was addressed by many of those in attendance that are working in the area to provide the necessary reentry services that include housing, job training, mental health evaluations & treatment, drug and alcohol addiction, medical assistance, anger management and a host of other services both in-house and referrals to other organizations.
Save the date for the next in the series of Incarceration Forms that will be held at St. Louis University’s, II Monastero Hall on Thursday, August 2, 3 PM-5 PM, on the topic of work force development. Contact Criminal Justice Ministry, St. Louis, MO. (www.cjmstlouis.org) for more information.