This workshop will focus on social justice work as it relates to prisons, criminal systems, and police abuse of power. The presenters will discuss measures to improve the social well being of incarcerated families through mental and emotional support around issues of disparity in police contact. They will also examine the history of the movement to Stop Solitary Confinement, shut down Northern supermax facility, and transform prison culture in the Connecticut DOC. Speakers will also examine the victory in passage of the recent Police Accountability bill which a duty to intervene for both police and correctional officers. Both speakers will also discuss the many ways families and community advocates can get involved in social justice work utilizing the stories and experiences of incarcerated people and their families.
Barbara Fair is a long time social justice activist born, raised and educated in New Haven. Before her membership with the steering Committee for Stop Solitary Ct she founded an organization, My Brother’s Keeper in 2007 and prior to that an organizer for People Against Injustice for 13 years. Barbara is currently a member of the New Haven chapter of ACLU. Her decades of social advocacy began as a teen and has remained as a part of her life since. Much of her work has been focused on improving prison conditions and addressing racial injustices inherent within the criminal legal system in CT and across this nation She has spent decades advocating for change through educating the public, coalition building, organizing public protests and through legislative actions.
Patrice Collins is doctoral candidate in the department of Sociology at Yale University. Before joining the doctoral program, Patrice worked as a preschool teacher, early education lab instructor, family consumer science lecturer, and early childhood consultant in child development and social policy research. Her current dissertation research is based on ethnographic research with families of the incarcerated. The overall project highlights and centers the experiences, perspectives and voices of Black families with incarcerated loved ones. Collins has been working with incarcerated families for the past ten years, and most recently helped to form a grassroots advocacy community organization for families with incarcerated loved ones in CT.