Issues and Ideas Forum, March 25, 2009

Listen to Expert Speakers Over Lunch

Lawmakers, legislative staff, news media and other interested friends are cordially invited to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy's


"Beyond the Bars: Corrections Alternatives"


Alvin J. Bronstein
Director Emeritus of the National Prison Project of the
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation

DATE: Wednesday, March 25, 2009
TIME: Noon - 1 p.m.
LOCATION: Lansing Center, Rooms 204-205
                  333 E. Michigan Avenue, Lansing, 48933
COST: Lunch is provided at no charge with reservation.

Michigan's population has grown slightly more than 10 percent since 1973, but its incarceration rate has increased more than 500 percent. The result is roughly 40,000 additional prisoners, costing taxpayers more than $28,000 each per year.

Are there alternatives that would save money and preserve public safety? Alvin J. Bronstein, director emeritus of the National Prison Project of the ACLU Foundation, suggests alternative sentencing options that have succeeded in Canada, other states and elsewhere.

Mr. Bronstein has argued numerous prisoners' rights cases in federal trial and appellate courts, as well as before the U.S. Supreme Court. He has been a consultant to state and federal correctional agencies, appeared as an expert witness on numerous occasions, and edited or authored books and articles on human rights and corrections. During the mid-1960s, he litigated civil rights cases and represented the major civil rights organizations in the South. Bronstein was instrumental in bailing civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. out of jail twice.

Bronstein directed the National Prison Project from its founding in 1972 until 1996 when he became director emeritus. He is a board member of Penal Reform International and a member of the Assembly of Delegates, World Organization Against Torture. 

The luncheon begins at noon. To make reservations, please call the Mackinac Center at 989-631-0900 by 5 p.m. on March 20, 2009.

The Purpose of the Issues & Ideas Forum

The nature of the legislative process is such that public policy debates are often framed by specific constituencies and political pragmatism rather than by sound principles. By offering a forum for wide-ranging discussion, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy hopes to broaden the debate to include theoretical and philosophical ideals - and how to achieve them. The best interests of Michigan residents can be served only when legislation incorporates our best understanding of legal, economic, psychological, moral and scientific principles.


Want to be alerted about events we have coming up? Sign up here!