Forum explores role of the arts in improving prison system

March 31, 2018

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Exploring the role that the arts can play in overhauling the criminal justice system is the subject of a conference at the University of Michigan.

The Michigan Art for Justice Forum , scheduled for Tuesday at the Michigan Union, is expected to draw lawmakers, artists, advocates and former prisoners. The free, public event is billed as the first in a series of a half-dozen national forums designed to explore what organizers call “the mass incarceration crisis” and identify solutions.

Panelists include professor Heather Ann Thompson, who wrote “Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy.” Joining her is John Cooper, policy director of the Citizens Alliance on Prisons and Public Spending.

The forum coincides with the 23rd annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan Prisoners.

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