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About the Conference
How could state policymakers revise the criminal justice system so that it is more cost-efficient and liberty-enhancing without damaging the safety of the community? This is the broad question that the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership sought to answer with a multi-day conference on criminal justice reform. This free two-day long conference of policymakers and academics from both the left and the right focused on three broad topics that promise to engender bipartisan support and helpful discussions:
1. How could state policymakers reform prisoner re-entry so that prisoners returning to the workforce have the skills they need to obtain and maintain employment in jobs that are under-filled?
2. How could state policymakers reform prosecutorial discretion in a manner that it is fair to defendants but also affords prosecutors the powers they legitimately need to enforce the law and obtain revenue?
3. How could state policymakers reform civil forfeiture in a manner that is consistent with the Constitution and protects individual property rights?
The State of Wisconsin Board of Examiners approved 9.5 CLE credits for the event.
The conference began at 9:00 AM on Thursday, April 26 and ended at lunch time on Friday, April 27. It was held at the beautiful Monona Terrace. Grover Norquist provided the keynote address during lunch. Norquist has worked in recent years to reform the criminal justice system across the states.
The Thompson Center would like to thank the National Federalist Society, the Madison Chapter of the Federalist Society, the National American Constitution Society, the Madison Lawyer Chapter, and the Milwaukee Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society for their support for this conference.
Special Thanks to Wisconsin Eye - conference recordings
The Thompson Center would like to extend our most gracious thank you to our partner The Wisconsin Eye, which streamed and recorded this event. The conference described here and many other intellectually stimulating events can be found on their website: https://wiseye.org
A WORD FROM THE WISCONSIN EYE
Our mission is to provide unfettered access to the actions of our state government and to the full range of forums, activities, and participants throughout our state that constitute community and public life in Wisconsin; To provide access to the public policy debate and decision-making process without editing, commentary, or analysis and with a balanced presentation of points of view; To provide elected and appointed officials and others who would influence public policy a direct conduit to the audience without filtering, or otherwise distorting their points of view; To employ production values, and to conduct all aspects of our operations, consistent with these principles.
Keynote : Grover Norquist
Panel 1 Prisoner Reentry
Panel 2 Prisoner Reentry Pt. 2
Panel 3 Prosecutorial Discretion
Panel 4 Prosecutorial Discretion Pt. 2
Panel 5 Civil Forfeiture
Panel 6 Fines and Fees
Criminal Justice Reform Conference Schedule
Schedule April 26:
8:30-9:00. Registration and check-in: Monona Terrace Center
9:00-9:15. Welcome and Opening Remarks:
Governor Tommy G. Thompson
Thompson Center Director Ryan Owens
9:15-10:30. Panel 1: Prisoner Re-entry:
10:45-12:00. Panel 2: Prisoner Re-entry:
12:00-1:30. Lunch and Keynote Address.
1:45-3:15. Panel 3: Prosecutorial Discretion:
3:30-5:00. Panel 4: Prosecutorial Discretion:
Paul Connell (WI Atty General office)
Professor Michael Light (UW-Madison)
Professor John Pfaff (Fordham University)
Caroline Sarnoff (Measures for Justice)
Paige Styler (Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office)
Moderator: Professor Cecelia M. Klingele
5:00-5:10. Concluding Remarks
9:00-10:15. Panel 5: Civil Forfeiture:
10:30-12:00. Panel 6: Fines and Fees:
Dean A. Mazzone (MA Atty General Office)
John Richter (King and Spalding)
Professor Ebony Ruhland (Cincinnati Law)
Professor Sandra Guerra Thompson (Houston Law)
Moderator: UW-Madison Senior Rachel Zierden