Town Hall to Discuss Social, Economic Role of State Prisons | St. Lawrence University

Town Hall to Discuss Social, Economic Role of State Prisons

A town hall meeting featuring St. Lawrence University students and faculty as well as a North Country Public Radio journalist and guest speakers will discuss the social, economic and political roles prisons play in the state of New York.

The town hall, titled “How do we talk about prisons in New York State?” will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 3 at St. Lawrence’s Noble Center, room 109.

Savannah Crowley ’14 and Allison Paludi ’14, both global studies majors and members of Amnesty International, will introduce a panel that includes Natasha Haverty, journalist and producer of NCPR’s “Prison Time Media Project;” the Rev. David Van Epps, retired chaplain at the Ogdensburg Correctional Facility; and Lauren Melodia, campaign organizer for Milk Not Jails, a volunteer-run, grassroots campaign that aims to build urban-rural alliances in New York State. Mary Jane Smith, associate professor of history, will moderate the discussion, with time set aside for comments and questions.

Savannah and Allison note that “the purpose of this event is to facilitate a community dialogue about prisons in New York State that are so economically, politically and socially important to the North Country. In consideration of prisons’ role in our society and their effects on our communities, it is vital we add local voices to a larger political conversation.”

The meeting is open to the general public. Visitors will be encouraged to view “Cellblock Visions,” an exhibit of prison art at the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery, including drawings by former inmate turned prison reform activist Five Mualimm-ak.

For more information, contact Savannah at, Smith at, or Catherine Tedford at