Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice

Hand on Bar

Robina In Conversation Series

Women in Prison in Minnesota: Voices of Hope from Within Prison Walls

1:30pm to 5:00pm
Mississippi Room, Coffman Memorial Union

NEW LOCATION: We apologize for any inconvenience, but we have had to change the venue for this event to the Mississippi Room (3rd floor) in Coffman Memorial Union.

The Robina Institute is pleased to invite you to our next Robina In Conversation, "Women in Prison in Minnesota: Voices of Hope from Within Prison Walls," on Friday, June 9, 2017 from 1:30-4:00 p.m. in the Mississippi Room, Coffman Memorial Union, with a reception to follow from 4-5:00 p.m.

The Sentencing Project, citing data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, reports that the number of women and girls who are incarcerated in the United States has increased by 700% from 1980 to 2014, with over 60% of incarcerated women having a child or children under the age of 18. In Minnesota, there are currently 659 incarcerated women at the  Minnesota Correctional Facility at Shakopee. There are approximately 250 female inmates incarcerated for drug offenses, and 23% of the entire prison population are American Indian or Alaskan Native. American Indians and Alaskan Natives make up 1.1% of Minnesotan's entire population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

At this In Conversation, we will discuss issues and challenges that are unique to the incarceration of women. The program will open with Amanda Weber, doctoral candidate at the University of Minnesota's School of Music, recounting her experiences leading a chorus of incarcerated women at Shakopee. We will then hear from a panel of formerly incarcerated women, who will discuss their experiences, successes, and challenges to reentry into society.

The program will conclude with a panel of professionals who will discuss some of the implications of and contributing factors to Minnesota’s growing population of incarcerated women. This panel will be moderated by Robina Institute Research Director, Dr. Ebony Ruhland, and include Assistant Professor Rebecca Shlafer, University of Minnesota, Department of Pediatrics; Dr. Jim Verhoye, Education Director, Minnesota Correctional Facility at Shakopee and Judge Bruce Peterson, 4th Judicial District.

Continue the conversation after the event and join us for a 1-hour reception. Light appetizers, soda, and coffee will be served. 

Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Credits

An application for Continuing Legal Education Credit will be submitted.


In-Person Registration: $10
Livestream Registration: $15
Register Now.

Students: Free. Please email if you are a student who wishes to attend this event. You may be asked to provide your student ID at the door.

Cancelations and refunds accepted until Noon on June 6. If you cancel after Noon on June 6 or or do not attend, we will not be able to issue a refund. 

Speakers & Moderators


If you have additional questions please email us at or call (612) 626-6600.