Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Nashville Voting Rights Conference

Breaking the Chains: From Jail Cell to Voting Booth
ACLU-TN Right to Vote Conference-- May 3, 2007

The ACLU-TN Right to Vote Project conference Breaking the Chains: From Jail Cell to Voting Booth will be held Thursday, May 3, 2007 from 8:30 – 4:30 at United Steelworkers Union Hall, 3340 Perimeter Hill Dr., Nashville, TN 37211. CLE and CEU Credits Provided by TACDL.



According to The Sentencing Project, our nation's prison population has soared by more than 600% since the 1970s, despite a drop in crime rates. As of 2005, over two million people were imprisoned in this country, the highest incarceration rate in the world. Almost one in every 136 U.S. residents is in prison today. Black men, who make up 6% of the U.S. population, comprise over 40% of our prison population. A black male born today has a 32% chance of spending time in prison.

The Breaking the Chains Conference will examine our criminal justice system and the role of punishment in our society. We will discuss how current disenfranchisement laws continue to bar former felons from full reintegration and their impact on the rate of recidivism. We will conduct workshops where former felons and their advocates can explore strategies to help former felons to register. We will also explore viable alternatives to current practices that further isolate former felons from their basic human rights, particularly the vote.

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