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Retired homicide investigator headlines 3rd annual ASU Prison Education Conference

March 17, 2014

On March 28 ASU’s Prison Education Awareness Club (PEAC), Department of English and School of Social Transformation want you to turn yourself in.

Or, more accurately, they want you to turn out – for the 3rd annual Prison Education Conference. The conference is slated for 10 a.m to 5 p.m., in the University Club Heritage Room, on ASU’s Tempe campus.

This year’s conference features keynote speaker Marshall Frank, a retired police captain from Miami, Fla., who led more than a thousand homicide investigations during his career and has since written hundreds of op-eds and articles about the state of America’s justice system.

In his most recent book, “Criminal InJustice in America,” Frank explores inequities of the prison system, “a multi-billion-dollar industry, which would collapse if there was a sudden downturn in inmate residency.” Perhaps that’s why the United States has 5 percent of the world’s population, but a staggering 25 percent of its prisoners.

Critics have hailed “Criminal InJustice as “challenging,” “thought-provoking” and “daring.”

The conference also will feature a free screening of “Zero Percent,” an award-winning documentary about the Hudson Link education program at Sing Sing Maximum Security Prison. This program provides a college education to inmates at the prison, and is remarkable for the fact that not a single graduate of the program has returned to prison. That’s compared to a nationwide recidivism rate of about 60 percent.

After the film, there will be a Q&A session with a second keynote speaker, Sean Pica, the director of Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison.

“Zero Percent” will also be shown the night before, at 7 p.m., March 27, in BAC 116. Pica will speak after the screening as well.

Other speakers at the conference will include Michelle Ribeiro from the State Penitentiary of New Mexico and Mark Jones from the Arizona Department of Corrections. Lunch will be provided. The conference and film screening are free and open to the public. RSVP required for the conference only.

For more information or to RSVP, contact

The Department of English and the School of Social Transformation are academic units of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at ASU.

Written by Emerson Hardebeck