Auburn University to host public forum on prison overcrowding Nov. 3

Published: October 29, 2014
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AUBURN UNIVERSITY – Auburn University will host a public forum on Alabama's prison overcrowding issue Monday, Nov. 3, at 6 p.m. in Coleman Fellowship Hall of Auburn First Baptist Church, 128 E. Glenn Avenue. The David Mathews Center for Civic Life and the Alabama Media Group will facilitate the forum.

According to a report from the Justice Center at The Council of State Governments, Alabama's prison system is under stress, operating at nearly double capacity. The Southern Poverty Law Center has filed a lawsuit against the Alabama Department of Corrections because of prison conditions.

"The consequences of not addressing the issue are significant," said Mark Wilson, director of the Civic Learning Initiative in the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University. "As the state moves forward, citizens must start working together to examine possible solutions."

According to Wilson, the forum will give people an opportunity to weigh carefully the benefits and costs of different approaches for addressing this issue. A moderator will facilitate the discussion, and all participants will receive a decision-making framework published previously on AL.com at http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/09/moving_from_concern_to_making.html.

"Alabama Media Group and its partners in the Alabama Investigative Journalism Lab have worked for months exposing problems in the state prison system. Our work with The Mathews Center is about creating a dialogue around solutions. We look forward to the opportunity for face-to-face engagement on these important issues," said KA Turner, director of Opinion and Commentary for Alabama Media Group.

"Public forums provide an opportunity for deep, meaningful face-to-face engagement," said Chris McCauley, executive director for the David Mathews Center. "We are excited to partner with Alabama Media Group on this unique project, and we look forward to facilitating the discussion."

Local sponsors for the forum include the Auburn University Office of Public Service in University Outreach, the Community and Civic Engagement Initiative in the College of Liberal Arts and the Alabama Prison Arts and Education Project in the College of Human Sciences. Refreshments will be provided. For more information, contact Mark Wilson at mwilson@auburn.edu or (334) 844-6198.

For more information about the David Mathews Center for Civic Life, go to http://mathewscenter.org/. For more information about the Alabama Media Group, go to http://www.alabamamediagroup.com/about/.

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