Robina Institute In Conversation Series

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

Jail Cell Hand on Bar

Date and Time

Past Event


Coffman Memorial Union, Mississippi Room

Thank you for joining the Robina Institute on Friday, June 9, 2017, for "Women in Prison in Minnesota: Voices of Hope from Within Prison Walls." View a recording of the event below.

For this conversation, we discussed the challenges and the realities that are unique to women who have been incarcerated. The Robina Institute is grateful to members of the Twin Cities Women's Choir, who sang "Voices of Hope," composed and conducted by University of Minnesota doctoral candidate Amanda Weber, who recounted her experiences leading a chorus of incarcerated women at the Minnesota Correctional Facility at Shakopee. 

We then heard from a panel of formerly incarcerated women, who openly discussed their experiences, successes, and challenges reentering society. Thank you, Gina, Kourtney, Mariah, and Rea for sharing your powerful stories. 

The program concluded with a panel of professionals who discussed some of the implications of and contributing factors to Minnesota’s growing population of incarcerated women. This panel was moderated by Robina Institute Research Director, Dr. Ebony Ruhland, and included Assistant Professor Rebecca Shlafer, University of Minnesota, Department of Pediatrics; Dr. Jim Verhoye, Education Director, Minnesota Correctional Facility at Shakopee; Judge Bruce Peterson, 4th Judicial District; and Autumn Cavender-Wilson, Certified Professional Midwife.

Continuing Legal Education (CLE)

2.5 standard CLE credits for attorneys were approved by the Minnesota State Board of Continuing Legal Education office. Event Code: 240774. 


Speakers & Moderators

Kelly Lyn Mitchell
Executive Director, Robina Institute; Lecturer in Law, University of Minnesota Law
Ebony Ruhland
Associate Professor, Rutgers University Newark; Former Research Director, Robina Institute
Amanda Weber
Amanda Weber
Doctoral Candidate at the University of Minnesota's School of Music
Rebecca Shlafer
Assistant Professor, Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Health
Man in blue suit
Former Education Director, Minnesota Department of Corrections
Judge Bruce Peterson
Judge Bruce Peterson
4th Judicial District, Hennepin County
Autumn Cavender-Wilson
Autumn Cavender-Wilson
Certified Professional Midwife
Gina Evans
Gina Evans
Community Outreach Director at Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge
Mariah Wilberg
Mariah Wilberg
Communications Specialist, Minnesota Department of Health
Kourtney Eichten
Kourtney Eichten
Assistant House Manager, South Shore Serenity Sober Home
Aparea Smith
Aparea Smith


If you have additional questions, please email us at [email protected] or call 612-626-6600.