Professor Kami Chavis Simmons discusses discriminatory policing at NCBA symposium ‘Understanding and Dismantling Mass Incarceration’ on Oct. 1

Photo of Professor Kami Chavis

Criminal Justice Program Director and Professor Kami Chavis, Associate Dean for Research and Public Engagement

Wake Forest Law Professor Kami Chavis Simmons, director of the Criminal Justice Program, will talk about discriminatory policing in a panel discussion titled, “Factors Contributing to Mass Incarceration” as part of a symposium, “Understanding and Dismantling Mass Incarceration: What Solutions Exist for North Carolina?” which will be presented by the North Carolina Commission on Racial and Ethnic Disparities, on Thursday, Oct. 1, at the North Carolina Bar Association in Cary, North Carolina.

Registration begins at 8 a.m., and the event officially begins at 8:45 a.m. and concludes around 5:30 p.m. with a reception to follow. Professors Simmons will be speaking in the first panel discussion about “Factors Contributing to Mass Incarceration.” There will be two others panels discussing the “Economics of Mass Incarcerations” and the “Strategies to Dismantle Mass Incarceration.”

Other panelists in the discussion with Professor Simmons include Tamar Birckhead, director of Clinical Programs, Associate Professor of Law, UNC Chapel Hill School of Law; the Hon. Marcia H. Morey, Chief District Court Judge, Durham County; and 
David Hall, staff attorney, Southern Coalition for Social Justice.

The North Carolina Commission on Racial & Ethnic Disparities in the Criminal Justice System, a collaborative research-based organization, is presenting the event with co-sponsors: ACLU of North Carolina, N.C. Advocates for Justice, N.C. Public Defender Association, Southern Coalition for Social Justice and Tin Fulton Walker & Owen, PLLC.

The symposium description from the N.C. Advocates for Justice website follows:

With a total of over 6.89 million people in jails, prisons, and under other forms of correctional control, the United States has the most comprehensive system of mass incarceration in the world. Both nationwide and in North Carolina, this phenomenon of mass incarceration is characterized by extreme racial disparities. For example, the ratio of African Americans to whites in North Carolina prisons is 5.4 to 1. Researchers have not concluded that mass incarceration has made our society safer.

This symposium will address the factors that have made it possible for America to become a carceral state with such racially disproportionate outcomes, provide a forum for discussing reforms that have begun to address this issue, and inspire the legal community to take action. We intend for this day to lead to the establishment of a North Carolina coalition that promotes reducing mass incarceration and its devastating impact on individuals, families, communities, and our democracy.

Registration is $15 and includes lunch. Learn more information and register to attend here.