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

Thank you to all who were able to join us in-person and online for our latest Robina In Conversation"Women in Prison in Minnesota: Voices of Hope from Within Prison Walls," on Friday, June 9, 2017.

Event Re-Cap

For this In 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 into society. Thank you Gina, KourtneyMariah, 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) Credits

2.5 Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit hours was approved. Event Code: 240774

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

Speakers & Moderators

  • Kelly Lyn Mitchell Kelly Lyn Mitchell

    Robina Institute Executive Director

  • Ebony Ruhland Ebony Ruhland

    Robina Institute Research Director

  • Amanda Weber Amanda Weber

    Doctoral Candidate at the University of Minnesota's School of Music

  • Rebecca Shlafer Rebecca Shlafer

    Assistant Professor University of Minnesota, Department of Pediatrics

  • Jim Verhoye Jim Verhoye

    Education Director, Minnesota Correctional Facility at Shakopee

  • 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 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 or call (612) 626-6600.