The videos are now online from a remarkable conference at Metro State University in St. Paul, MN, on April 8th. An annual event devoted to mass incarceration matters, organizers made a big shift by dedicating this year’s conclave to sexual violence and the scandalous Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP). By various measures MSOP is the worst such sex offense civil commitment operation in the country. Hundreds who have completed prison sentences remain locked up—indefinitely–in MSOP, on the state’s hunch that they might commit a crime in the future, to get ‘treatment’ that never seems to end. So few are released that death is the surest exit. While judges and politicians have been no help in stopping this constitutional and human rights disaster, the good news is a growing struggle for freedom. Inside, detainees have gotten organized and brought attention to their plight with two hunger strikes. Outside, there’s a coalition of allies and kin called, EndMSOP, and more. Great for the organizers and MSOP detainees to get attention and solidarity from folks concerned with mass incarceration. Several hundred turned out in person and virtually for the gathering. Quite an array of forces were in the house including End MSOP organizers, crime victims and survivors, formerly incarcerated individuals, people with past sex offenses, scholars, students, researchers, various state and county employees, and even some top administrators of MSOP. Via cellphone the audience heard live reports from organizers held in MSOP’s Moose Lake facility who had alarming news about a crackdown on free speech and organizing inside. There was electricity in the conference auditorium –have a look at the videos! –Bill Dobbs, The Dobbs Wire If you have something to say or would like to be on The Dobbs Wire list, drop us a line. email@example.com Twitter: @thedobbswire
Understanding and Responding to Mass Incarceration (URMI) Conference, The “Sex Offender”: Why Should We Care?, and especially to everyone who attended on April 8, either in-person at Metro State University’s Saint Paul campus or any portions that were available via Zoom.
The recordings of the morning and afternoon sessions held in the auditorium are now available. Both videos start just after the sessions began, so the initial few minutes will be missing. We apologize for this omission.
· Land and Enslavement Acknowledgement by Dr. Raj, Faculty, School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, Metro State. >>Starts at 0:00:00 mark
· Keynote Speaker Berma Bushie, Community Holistic Circle Healing, Hollow Water First Nation. Introduction by Dharshini Goonetilleke, Faculty, Human Services Dept, Metro State. >>>Starts at 0:02:55 mark
· Panel Discussion: Individuals Who Have Experienced Sexual Violence with KiloMarie Granda, Shvonne Johnson, and Sofi Shank. Facilitated by Dr. Raj. >>Starts at 1:10:00 mark
· Plenary Session: The Problem with MSOP with Eric Janus, Professor, Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Introduction by David Starks, Power in Peace Youth Diversion Case Manager, Face to Face. >>Starts at 2:07:20 mark
· Panel Discussion: Individuals and Families Who Have Experienced Incarceration in MSOP with Sara Brainard, Russell Hatton, Tiffany Minkel, and Daniel Wilson. Facilitated by Derrick Crim, Faculty, Human Services Dept, Metro State. >>Starts at 0:00:00 mark