It's going to be a bit of an unusual conference. The public can attend, but the organizers cannot.
"Hope for Restoration: Radical Hospitality and Prison Reform" was conceived and organized by inmates from the Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia. Although they cannot be at the conference, the Calvin Prison Initiative Students from the R.A. Handlon Correctional Facility will have a chance to watch recordings of the proceedings later.
The Saint Benedict Institute is hosting "Hope for Restoration: Radical Hospitality and Prison Reform," a daylong conference on restorative justice, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, March 4, in the Maas Center at Hope College.
The conference developed after Eric Boldiszar connected with Jared Ortiz, Ph.D., of the Hope religion faculty and executive director of the Saint Benedict Institute.
"He read an interview with me in the FAITH Grand Rapids magazine a few years ago," Ortiz said. "He invited me to the prison to speak to his restorative justice reading group. I did and was very blessed by the exchange. We kept up a correspondence."