April 4 discussion on ‘Life After Incarceration’ will explore struggles faced by former inmates

Photo of hands and arms reaching through prison cell barsThe Northern Illinois Criminal Justice Association and the NIU Department of Sociology will host a panel discussion titled, “Life After Incarceration,” highlighting issues faced by those who have been released from prison and the struggles they face as they re-enter society.

The discussion will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, April 4, in the Holmes Student Center Sky Room.

The event is free and open to the public and will feature panel member James Kluppelberg, who was recently found innocent and exonerated after serving more 24 years in prison for murder and arson.

According to a seven-month investigation by the Better Government Association and the Center on Wrongful Convictions, Illinois has spent more than $214 million on the incarceration of men and women who were wrongfully convicted for violent crimes and imprisoned innocent people for a total of 926 years.

Kluppelberg will share his story and discuss the work of the Exoneration Project, which brought forth new evidence that overturned his conviction. Kluppelberg was released May 30, 2012.

The panel moderator will be Andre Joachim, former vice president of the NIU chapter of the American Correctional Association and the Northern Illinois University Criminal Justice Association. Joachim is a December graduate of NIU who majored in sociology.

Panel member Jodie Dewey teaches in the Department of Sociology at Concordia University Chicago. Among her areas of research are medical sociology, gender and sexuality. Dewey will discuss her research.

The final panelist is Michael Brown, an ex-offender who was released by the Florida Department of Corrections in 2010 after being incarcerated for 37 years. Brown has been lecturing on the impact of faith-based prison ministry organizations and life after prison for the last several years.

For more information on the event, contact Jack King in the NIU Department of Sociology at (815) 753-6440 or jackking@niu.edu.

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