July 3rd, 2015
On July 28th, Paton will be speaking at Straight Talk SC, Crime and Punishment: Thinking Outside the Cell, a summer series of presentations put on by the Riley Institute at Furman University, SC.
On the 28th, session moderator Mark Quinn will host a conversation with community members and law enforcement officers looking at the challenges facing police and the communities which they serve. Paton will be among the presenters on this day where he will talk about being arrested and sent to prison due to actions related to Bipolar I Disorder. He will also talk about his recovery work through advocacy for mental health reform, such as pushing for the passing of the Mental Health Court Program Act, and teaching CIT training to local law enforcement.
It is clear that something is broken in today’s criminal justice system. The massive growth in American prisons over the last four decades has burdened tax payers, overcrowded the prisons, and devastated vulnerable communities. Strong economic arguments as well as compelling compassionate reasons exist for why we can no longer maintain the status quo.
This year’s summer series will examine the data around crime, incarceration and the impact of our existing system of justice on communities, discuss our state’s law enforcement and prison system practices in light of historical and contemporary contexts, and highlight innovative programs that are being implemented in South Carolina.
Stay tuned for more information and coverage of this event in the near future!