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LOCATION CHANGE: Candid Conversations: Race & the Criminal Justice System

Contact: Jennifer Lane |

The next program in the Candid Conversations series will be moved to Century II's Mary Jane Teall Theater to accommodate a larger audience.

Candid Conversations: Race & the Criminal Justice System will be held on Monday, October 29 beginning at 6:00 p.m.   Numerous studies suggest that racial minorities are disproportionately represented at all stages in the criminal justice system relative to their numbers in the general population. The latest Kansas Department of Corrections annual report shows that African Americans represent nearly 29 percent of the Kansas prison population, yet they comprise only 5 percent of the Kansas population.

During the program, local criminal justice leaders will discuss possible contributing factors as to why these racial disparities exist and what can be done about them. Dr. Michael Birzer, a criminal justice professor at Wichita State University, will moderate the program. Other panelists include Federal District Court Judge J. Thomas Marten, Wichita Chief of Police Gordon Ramsay, Sedgwick County District Attorney Mark Bennett, Sedgwick County Chief Public Defender Mark Orr, Sedgwick County Department of Corrections Director Glenda Marten, Kansas Department of Corrections Southern Parole Region Director Sally Fry,  and Wichita Police Department Captain Wendell Nicholson.

This program made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Kansas Humanities Council. Candid Conversations is a collaboration with the following groups: ARISE, Community Operation Recovery Empowerment, Kansas Appleseed, League of Women Voters-Wichita Metro, NAACP Youth Council, Real Men, Real Heroes, Urban League of Kansas, Wichita Police Department, Wichita Public Schools, WSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion, WSU School of Community Affairs.

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