Please join us on Saturday, January 25 for a public symposium that explores the unintended consequences of public registration laws and the expansion of the carceral state.
All events are FREE and open to the public
12pm - 6pm RSVP →
Presented as part of Meet the Chicago 400: Lessons in the Carceral State the third Winter Term, which is an initiative that investigates drawing as a tool for addressing inequity and encouraging social change, this public symposium is organized in conjunction with the Chicago 400, a grassroots campaign of formerly incarcerated and convicted people experiencing homelessness in Chicago, and artist, policy advocate, and researcher Laurie Jo Reynolds.
Featuring a range of participants, the symposium builds upon the Chicago 400's ongoing advocacy work and explores the intersection of drawing and criminal justice reform, specifically as it relates to fear-based policies, the unintended consequences of public registration laws, and the expansion of the carceral state.
12–1pm | “We Carry the Laws Out”: Opening Reception + Exhibition Walkthrough
Join members of the Chicago 400 Art Committee for a walkthrough of the exhibition of drawings that diagram and depict how they follow the registry regime and housing and public space banishment laws.
Participants include: John Cameron, Art Committee, Chicago 400; Sid Hughes, Art Committee Co-Chair, Chicago 400; J.J., Art Committee, Chicago 400; Clifford Kight, Art Committee Co-Chair, Chicago 400; Scott McFarland, Chicago 400 Alliance
1–1:45pm | Meet the Chicago 400: Lessons in the Carceral State
Learn more about the Chicago 400’s unique arts and organizing campaign to reform registry and banishment laws. Panelists will explain the organizing strategy, how art is a transformative part of the work, and how they are advocating for policies that prevent victimization - support survivors, hold people accountable for harm, but then let people move on with their lives after they have served their time. They will also discuss the disproportionate impact these laws have on poor people of color.
Participants include: Gary Dabney, Bronx, N.Y. resident experiencing homelessness because of N.Y. laws; Michael Moore, Legislative Committee, Chicago 400; Laurie Jo Reynolds, Coordinator, Chicago 400 Alliance; Zakiyyah Seifullah, Legislative Committee, Chicago 400; Maya Szilak, Research and Policy Counsel, John Howard Association of Illinois
2:15pm–3:30pm | Let Us Try to Explain This: New Yorkers Are Detained in Locked Facilities Because They Can’t Find Housing That Doesn’t Exist
Visitors to the exhibition may wonder if there are similar registration policies in New York, or a campaign to address them. Indeed, New York also has policies with extreme unintended consequences. Learn about the people impacted, the constitutionality of this arrangement, and strategies to address this crisis from legal experts, advocates, and people who have been through this system.
Participants include: Allison Frankel, Aryeh Neier Fellow, Human Rights Watch/ACLU, New York; Emily Horowitz, Professor and Chair, Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice, St. Francis College, Brooklyn; author of Protecting Our Kids?: How Sex Offender Laws Are Failing UsCharles King, Chief Executive Officer, Housing Works, New York; Robert Newman, Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Practice, Special Litigation Unit, New York; and counsel for Richard Alcantara in Alcantara v. Annucci; Robert O., Directly impacted-person and advocate for reform of housing banishment laws, New York; Pauline Syrnik, Fellow, Legal Aid Society, Criminal Appeals Bureau, New York; Amber Vlangas, Survivor, registry-impacted family member; Advocacy Chair for the Center for Rational Justice Studies.
4pm–4:45pm | The Logic of the Punitive State
J.R. Packingham was convicted of a felony for saying “Thank you Jesus” on a public Facebook post. He decided to challenge it, ultimately taking the case to the United States Supreme Court, which ruled unanimously that his First Amendment rights were violated. Using this rare victory as a point of departure, Goldberg will discuss strategies for addressing the expansive reach of the carceral state. Lancaster will historicize this discussion by exploring the complicated relationship between sexuality and punishment in our society, the modern suburban culture of fear, and the punitive logic that has put down deep roots in everyday American life.
Participants include: David T. Goldberg, constitutional and public law litigator in the U.S. Supreme Court and federal and state appellate courts, and counsel for J.R. Packingham in Packingham v. North Carolina; Roger Lancaster, Professor of Anthropology and Cultural Studies, George Mason University, Washington DC; author of Sex Panic and the Punitive State; Willie Trent, directly-impacted person and advocate, New York Sex Offense Policy Work Group
5–6pm | Closing Reception
Join organizers, presenters, and other policy advocates for a closing reception of the show and the symposium.
6–8pm | Next Steps Mixer and Dinner (organized by the New York Action Alliance & co-sponsored by the New York Sex Offense Working Group)
The New York Action Alliance and The Chicago 400 are co-hosting a “Next Steps” Mixer to bring together professionals, advocates, those directly impacted, and/or anyone else interested in helping New York and other states become leaders in transforming their public conviction registry laws.
Sign up to join us at a restaurant within walking distance of the Drawing Center for a light, buffet-style meal. Please RSVP → by 1/17/20.
Winter Term 2020: The Chicago 400: Lessons in the Carceral State is organized by Rosario Güiraldes, Assistant Curator. Our Fellow Americans: A Symposium on Public Conviction Registries is organized by Bill Dobbs, Emily Horowitz, David T. Goldberg, Laurie Jo Reynolds, Jill K. Sanders, and Pauline Syrnik, with support from the New York Action Alliance and the New York Sex Offense Working Group.
Winter Term 2020: The Chicago 400: Lessons in the Carceral State is made possible by The Drawing Center Exhibition Fund and the MacArthur Foundation. Special thanks to Art for Justice and Open Society Foundations, along with Chicago partner organizations Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, Treatment Alternative for Safe Communities (TASC), Kolbe House Jail Ministry, and John Howard Association of Illinois.
Image: Map depicting the enforcement of registration laws. Courtesy of the Chicago 400.