The Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Record

 
Tuesday, March 5, 5:30-7:30 pm
Hosted by Area 23, 254 North State Street, Concord

 
New Hampshire Humanities and our panelists explored the impact of incarceration and sentencing laws in the Granite State. What does it mean to have a criminal record in New Hampshire and does the punishment always fit the crime? 

The Big Questions we asked:

 What is the purpose of incarceration?
•  How have our definitions of criminality changed over time?
•  Does the punishment always fit the crime in New Hampshire’s criminal justice system?
•  What are the challenges to formerly incarcerated individuals successfully rejoining their communities in New Hampshire?
•  How is New Hampshire different from other states in regards to mass incarceration and the consequences of criminal records?
•  Is it ethical to allow for discrimination based on prior criminal records?

"The audience was incredibly impressive, including representatives from the New Hampshire Judicial Council, some of the most respected defense attorneys in the state, former Granite State jail superintendents, corrections professionals from our state prison, and others engaged in the criminal justice system. That you were able to bring so many folks together for such an enriched conversation is very impressive."
- Devon Chaffee, Executive Director, ACLU-NH 

Panelists included:

Devon Chaffee, Executive Director, ACLU-NH
Dr. Katherine Gaudet, Associate Director, University Honors Program, UNH
Philip Rondeau, Smart Justice Fellow, ACLU-NH 
Sarah E. Warecki, Asst. County Attorney, Hillsborough County Attorney's Office

Moderator:

Dr. Tricia Peone, Program Manager, New Hampshire Humanities
Tricia manages the Humanities to Go and Humanities@Work programs. She holds a Ph.D. from UNH in early American history with a specialization in the history of science. Before joining New Hampshire Humanities, Tricia taught courses on New England history as an adjunct professor and worked as a historical consultant in the cultural resources industry.

Panelists:

Devon Chaffee, Executive Director, ACLU-NH
Devon came to the ACLU of NH with a solid track record of effectively advocating on behalf of marginalized constituencies through innovative and strategic lobbying and public education. While with the ACLU DC office, Devon worked to stop biased policing, prisoner abuse, privacy violations, and free speech infringement. Prior to joining ACLU, Devon served as Advocacy Counsel at Human Rights First, fighting against U.S. counter-terrorism and national security policies that violate human rights. She received her J.D. magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center where she was a Public Interest Law Scholar, and holds a BA from Hampshire College.

Dr. Katherine Gaudet, Associate Director, Honors Program, UNH
Kate is a scholar of literature and reading who began to learn about mass incarceration under an NEH grant to develop a course called “What Is a Criminal?” The course has become a core part of UNH’s Honors curriculum, and she is currently helping to organize a public lecture series on the same topic that will be offered at UNH during the 2018-2019 academic year. She is also working on a project about how we tell stories about addiction. Dr. Gaudet is also Assistant Professor in the department of Classics, Humanities, and Italian Studies at UNH, as well as a freelance writer and editor.

Philip Rondeau, Smart Justice Field Organizer, ACLU-NH
Phil works to recruit, engage, educate, and mobilize volunteers to participate in reducing mass incarceration in NH. His extensive knowledge of our criminal justice system is a direct result of his own incarceration and his time working within the community of formerly incarcerated individuals. Phil is also a recovery coach, managing a sober living house. Phil is enrolled at Southern NH University working toward a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in addiction, to reach his goal of becoming a licensed drug and alcohol counselor.

Sarah E. Warecki, Assistant County Attorney, Hillsborough County Attorney’s Office
Sarah is an active member of the New Hampshire Bar Association and has been a prosecutor in the State of New Hampshire since 2013 for the State’s two busiest county attorney offices. She started her career at the Rockingham County Attorney’s Office and remained there until 2016. Sarah has experience prosecuting felony level crimes ranging from shoplifting to aggravated felonious sexual assault.

View the printed program

View event photos

Suggested reading: 

The Sentencing Project: Criminal Justice Facts
Timeline and histories from the NH Department of Corrections
NHPR Series on NH Prisons
States of Incarceration: A National Dialogue of Local Histories

Other resources:

PeopleReady provides work opportunities for people who are on parole or probation.
www.helpforfelons.org provides job-related resources and helpful tips for finding employment. 
New Hampshire Vocational Rehabilitation can assist individuals with job placement.

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Interested in these topics?

Want to explore them more? Organize a similar event or a whole series in your community
with the support of a New Hampshire Humanities Community Project Grant.