Life after Life: Reflections on JusticeLife after Life: Reflections on Justicehttp://www.haverford.edu/calendar/details/193331KINSC Hilles 109 2012-02-22T19:30:002012-02-22T21:00:00
February 22, 7:30PM
KINSC Hilles 109
A dialogue about the evolving meaning of “justice,” the short-falls of the criminal justice system, and new methods for addressing crime.
Tyrone A. Werts was born in 1951 and raised in North Philadelphia. In 1975 he was convicted as an accomplice to a second-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole.
Werts spent the next 36 years at the Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution at Graterford, a maximum security prison housing approximately 3,500 men. While at SCI-Graterford, Werts earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Villanova University, while working as a tutor to help others earn their GEDs. He was heavily involved with Temple University’s nationally renowned Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program and a founding member of its affiliated Think Tank group. Inspired by his extensive work in a leadership role with the prison’s Lifer’s organization, he established The Lifers’ Public Safety Initiative (PSI), a crime prevention program that has received national and international attention and is based on the “Culture of Street Crime” theory he developed with other incarcerated men to propose solutions to violent crime in prisons and communities. During his sentence, he even testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the need for parole eligibility for lifers, and before the Commission on Crime and Delinquency in Pittsburgh, PA, on prison overcrowding.
On December 30, 2010, after serving 36 years at SCI-Graterford, Werts’ life sentence was commuted by former Governor Ed Rendell, a testament to this former lifer’s immense personal growth in the face of adversity and his longstanding dedication to justice reform and developing solutions to criminal justice concerns in the US.
Presently Werts is employed as a Public Relations Consultant to the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program housed at Temple University, and consults with the Philadelphia Public Defenders Association in the Homicide Division.
Join us on February 22, 2012, at 7:30pm to learn more about Mr. Werts's experience and accomplishments, and to share in a dialogue with about the evolving meaning of “justice,” the short-falls of the criminal justice system, and new methods for addressing crime.
Mr. Werts will be joined by Barb Toews, restorative justice practitioner/educator and PhD candidate at the Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, and Paul J. Hetznecker, civil rights and criminal defense attorney. Both collaborated with Mr. Werts in different capacities during his incarceration, and have kept in touch since his release last year.
A Haverford House project, sponsored by The Center for Peace and Global Citizenship.
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