Have you ever wondered how the criminal justice system can positively impact offenders, victims and communities simultaneously?
The third annual Restorative Justice Conference will be held in the UW–Platteville Velzy Commons and Nohr Gallery Monday, March 7 from 8:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
The conference is sponsored by the UW–Platteville Department of Criminal Justice, UW–Platteville Wilgus Fund, Southwest Health, and Ridge and Valley Restorative Justice of Grant and Crawford counties.
At the conference, attendees will:
• Hear from keynote speakers Renee Napier, a survivor, and Eric Smallridge, an ex-offender. Napier and Smallridge will share their personal experiences with the justice system, discuss the impact that crime had on their lives and share their thoughts about the power of forgiveness, healing and drunk driving awareness. For more information about their stories, go to: http://www.themeagannapierfoundation.com/home.php. Anyone can drop in to the keynote, free of charge.
• Learn how restorative justice, a cost effective alternative to the traditionally retributive model of justice, ensures community involvement while empowering victims and still holding offenders accountable for their actions.
• Acquire strategies for adopting restorative justice practices in community settings, households and correctional institutions.
Attendees will also have the opportunity to engage with facilitators of restorative justice programs to include victim-offender conferencing, victim impact programs, family conferencing and school initiatives. The event will conclude with a question-and-answer session from Napier, Smallridge and restorative justice experts.
“How often do we get an opportunity to collaborate with professionals, educators, victims, offenders, community members and students about initiatives that may help victims, offenders and communities following a victimization?” said Dr. Amy Nemmetz, assistant professor of criminal justice at UW–Platteville. “Simply stated, the conference is a powerful and amazing experience to learn, share and critically analyze restorative justice opportunities.”
Last year, more than 85 police officers, victim witness workers, social workers, restorative justice professionals, professors, community members and volunteers as well as 190 UW–Platteville students attended the conference.
Conference registration fee is $55 for the general public, $20 for students and Career Day professional attendees and free for UW–Platteville students.
For more information, go to www.uwplatt.edu/criminal-justice/restorative-justice-conference. For questions, contact Nemmetz, Nemmetza@uwplatt.edu.