Day of Study

(VIDEO) “Hope for Restoration: Radical Hospitality and Prison Reform” Conference on Restorative Justice

“Hope for Restoration: Radical Hospitality and Prison Reform”

A Conference on Restorative Justice Organized by Calvin Prison Initiative students from the R.A. Handlon Correctional Facility

Saturday, March 4, 2017
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Maas Center at Hope College
264 Columbia Ave.
Holland, Michigan 49423

The Saint Benedict Institute hosted “Hope for Restoration: Radical Hospitality and Prison Reform,” a day-long conference on restorative justice, on Saturday, March 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Maas Center at Hope College, Holland, Michigan.

The public was able to do something that the event’s organizers cannot: attend. The conference was conceived and organized by inmates from the Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia, who will have a chance to watch recordings of the proceedings later.

The conference’s keynote speakers were Ted Lewis of the Center for Restorative Justice and Peacemaking at the University of Minnesota; Kristen Deede Johnson, associate professor of theology and Christian formation at Western Theological Seminary; and Eric Boldiszar, Handlon inmate and Calvin Prison Initiative student, through a pre-recorded presentation.

Other speakers and panelists included Bishop David J. Walkowiak, Diocese of Grand Rapids; Rep. David LaGrand, state representative (D) for Grand Rapids; Rep. Joe Haveman, former state representative (R) for Holland; Troy Rienstra of Network for Real Change; Warden DeWayne Burton of Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility; Tricia Worrell, director of prison and jail ministry, Diocese of Grand Rapids; and Julie Bylsma and Todd Cioffi of Calvin Prison Initiative.

In addition to the Saint Benedict Institute, the conference was presented in partnership with Hope College, Calvin College, Calvin Seminary, the Calvin Prison Initiative and the Corpus Christi Foundation.  The Calvin Prison Initiative is a partnership between Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary that provides a Christian liberal arts education to inmates at Handlon.  A total of 40 inmates are participating in the initiative, which leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree in ministry leadership.

Event co-sponsors included Hope Campus Ministries, the Center for Ministry Studies, the Dean of Social Sciences, the Dean of Arts and Humanities, the Departments of Art and Art History, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Sociology and Social Work; Encounter with Cultures Program, Emmaus Scholars Program, Hope United for Justice, Hope Catholics, Hope College Republicans, Hope College Markets & Morality, and the Tocqueville Forum.