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November 9, 2011

Conference to examine women and children in prison

Portia Project's annual conference is Nov. 17-18

The Portia Project, a charitable organization that provides legal and other assistance to incarcerated women at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, Ore., and is led by Oregon Law Professor Barbara Aldave, will host its annual conference Thursday, Nov. 17, and Friday, Nov. 18, at the Knight Law Center, 1515 Agate St., Eugene.

“Prisons and People: A Focus on Women and Their Children” is a free public conference that will feature a keynote presentation by Robin Levi, a California attorney who is the human rights director of Justice Now and the co-editor of a recently published book titled “Inside this Place, Not of It.”

On Thursday, a reception will be held in the Lewis Lounge at 5 p.m. Additionally, two films will be screened describing the experiences of women who were pregnant and gave birth while they were in prison. One of the films, “A Sentence for Two,” features four Oregon women who bore children while incarcerated at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility. The second film, “Purdy,” follows a group of women who gave birth during their incarceration in the state of Washington and were permitted to keep their children with them in a special unit of the women’s prison. Each of the films will be shown from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. and again from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Room 242 or Room 243 of the Knight Law Center.

On Friday, Levi will deliver a keynote luncheon address in the Wayne Morse Commons of the Knight Law Center. The day will feature a variety of speakers and panelists, including administrators and former inmates of Coffee Creek, families of incarcerated women, social scientists and representatives of community agencies.

While the conference is free, seating is limited. Those wishing to attend the luncheon must RSVP to Amy McDonald at alm@uoregon.edu.

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