Unlikely Allies Work Together

In the fall of 2008, an unlikely group of prisoner advocates, victims, and victim advocates came together to produce a cutting-edge curriculum for incarcerated people who have committed homicide-related offenses. On October 17, three of the co-creators will participate in a panel discussion at Pace Law School.

On Monday, October 17, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Tudor Room, Pace Law School will host Bridging the Gap: Lessons Learned from a Reentry Collaboration with Victims and Victim Advocates, a panel discussion featuring the co-creators of the “Coming to Terms” curriculum, a 16-week innovative rehabilitation course for incarcerated people which has been used in Sing Sing and Fishkill Correctional Facilities.

Moderated by curriculum co-creator Susan Herman, associate professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and Security at Pace and former executive director of the National Center for Victims of Crime, the panel will discuss the history of the project, the process and experience of collaboration, the curriculum it produced, and its resulting policy implications.

“The curriculum provides an opportunity for men and women who are serving long sentences for violent crimes to gain insight, take responsibility for their crimes, and prepare for their eventual release. It takes people on a very personal journey. The program utilizes a victim-focused framework in individual and group settings in select prisons,” said Herman, who is author of Parallel Justice for Victims of Crime.

Panelists include:

  • Elizabeth Gaynes, executive director of the Osborne Association, a nonprofit dedicated to serving those affected by incarceration, and nationally-recognized expert on the impact of incarceration and reentry on children and families
  • Kathy Boudin, who was formerly incarcerated and now serves as director of the Criminal Justice Initiative: Supporting Children, Families, and Communities at Columbia
  • Maria Verzulli, whose sister was the victim of a homicide, is now the victim/survivor advocate for New Yorkers for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, where she focuses on programs that fill gaps in victim services and address root causes of crime and violence.

For students on the NYC Campus interested in attending, there will be a bus leaving Schimmel at 4:30 p.m. and returning after the program. First-come, first-served.

For more information on the panel and speakers, read the press release.