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Press Release

Criminal Justice Reform Conference Set for June 6 in Boise at Concordia University School of Law

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Idaho

BOISE – Criminal justice scholars, practitioners and policy makers will convene to address reforms targeting some of the most pressing problems in our criminal justice system on Monday, June 6, 2016, at Concordia University School of Law in Boise.  The one-day conference features Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador, U.S. Department of Justice Office of Legal Policy leader Jonathan Wroblewski, criminal defense attorneys, prosecutors and judges, as well as significant legal scholars. 

“Concordia University School of Law is honored to host the conference, which includes legal scholars who focus on criminal justice issues, including Professor Andrew Kim of Concordia Law,” said Cathy Silak, Dean of the Concordia University School of Law.  “The Conference will promote dialogue among policy-makers and practitioners to improve the criminal justice system.”

The conference sessions will address sentencing reform, collateral consequences of criminal convictions and alternative courts. 

“Increasingly, laws and policies are being enacted to restrict persons with a felony conviction (particularly convictions for drug offenses) from, among other things, employment, receipt of welfare benefits, access to public housing, and eligibility for student loans for higher education,” said S. Richard Rubin, Executive Director, Federal Defender Services of Idaho.

“Such collateral penalties place substantial barriers to an individual's social and economic advancement.  In reality the conviction becomes a life sentence for the individual and his or her family.”

The conference is open to all members of the legal and law enforcement communities.  Additional conference presenters are: Chief United States District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill, United States Magistrate Judge Candy W. Dale, Idaho State Fourth District Court Judge Timothy Hansen, Wendy J. Olson, U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho, S. Richard Rubin, Executive Director, Federal Defender Services of Idaho, Denise C. Barrett, National Sentencing Resource Council, Federal Public and Community Defenders, Tom Hillier, former Federal Defender for the Western District of Washington, Jeffrey Thomason, Chief U.S. Probation Officer, District of Idaho, Scott Bandy, Ada County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Alan Trimming, Ada County Public Defender’s Office, Melissa Winberg, Federal Defender Services of Idaho, Andrew Chongseh Kim, assistant professor of law, Concordia University School of Law, Gabriel “Jack” Chin, professor, University of California, Davis, School of Law, J.J. Prescott, professor, University of Michigan Law School, and Kari Hong, Assistant Professor, Boston College Law School.

“Those who have devoted their professional careers to the criminal justice system well know that we cannot just prosecute, convict and incarcerate our way to safer, healthier communities,” said Wendy J. Olson, U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho.  “At the federal level, Bureau of Prison costs have skyrocketed since 1980.  We must be smart about who we incarcerate and for how long.  We must work with all of our community partners to help offenders who have paid their debt to society re-enter our communities to become successful and productive residents.  This conference will help Idaho criminal justice system participants identify challenges and explore how best to meet all of these goals.”

The Conference on Criminal Justice Reform is hosted by Concordia University School of Law, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho, and the Federal Defender Services of Idaho.  For additional information, contact Anne Comstock, Concordia University School of Law, 208-639-5402.  

Updated March 2, 2021