Nyack Examines Restorative Justice Through Victims’ and Perpetrators’ Tales of Violent Crimes
by Jennifer Mancuso
There is plenty of injustice in the world right now. Tonight, at the Nyack Center, there will be an opportunity to confront, and learn about, some of that injustice.
From 7:00p to 9:00p, the Rockland Prison Justice Advocacy Group and the Nyack Center will host “Practices in Restorative Justice.” This community forum and panel discussion will be moderated by Shailly Agnihotri, founder of the Restorative Center in Newburgh. Shailly spent more than 20 years as an attorney, and has developed an expertise in criminal justice through working as a prosecutor (Orleans Parish), teaching (Georgetown Law School) and as a public defender (New York City). She has come to understand the power for individuals and communities to come to a deeper emergent wisdom of justice through facilitated circles.
Shailly will be interviewing a fascinating panel of people with diverse experiences, including formerly incarcerated individuals, victims, and a retired superintendent of a maximum security prison. The panel will discuss different perspectives and share powerful stories that consider rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and the community at large. The conversation will explore ways individuals and communities can heal and move on after violent crime, how restorative justice ties in with our beliefs about issues of race in America, how restorative justice can focus on victims’ rights, and alternatives to a punitive criminal justice system.
A special greeting and introduction will also be delivered by Ritchie Torres, Council Member for the 15th District fo the NY City Council.
The panelists being interviewed are:
Tarik Greene: Tarik is the Deputy Director of Rockland County’s M.A.D.E (Making a Difference Everyday) which provides transitional services to inmates seeking to transform their lives and be productive members of society. Tarik served 11 years in prison for armed robbery. Tarik recognizes the culture of poverty that is linked to mass incarceration and is interested in how restorative justice can work in terms of racial issues in this country.
Colleen Kelly: Colleen is the co-founder of 9-11 Families for a Peaceful Tomorrow. Colleen lost her brother on September 11, 2001 and has been interested in understanding how radical idealism can lead someone to commit violent crimes. She also questions if people can really change and experience conversion?
Elaine Lord: Elaine is the retired Superintendent at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility. Elaine will bring to the panel her experience as a very hands on Superintendent at NY State’s Maximum Security Prison for women.
Tyrell Muhammed: Tyrell is the Project Associate for the Correctional Association’s Prison Visiting Project. Formerly incarcerated at Attica, one of Tyrell’s many efforts include a campaign to close Attica.
Kiera Pollock, LMSW, is the Deputy Executive Director of Programs and Clinical Services Center for Safety and Change, a private, non-profit organization serving victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse and other violent crimes in Rockland County.
Priscilla Prutzman, co-founder and Executive Director of Creative Response to Conflict. Priscilla is currently modeling Restorative Practices and Restorative Justice with many schools and groups in the NY Metropolitan Area.
There is a suggested donation of $10 to benefit Family Connections.