In 2017 the Westchester Library System offered a series of six public programs called Community Conversations: Criminal Justice, Yesterday and Today.  The schedule, roster of panelists, and highlights from each session are linked below.  The program for the event series is linked here.

In collaboration with the Sing Sing Prison Museum and funded by the Westchester Community Foundation, each event included a presentation on the history of rehabilitation and reform at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, followed by a panel discussion linking historical perspectives to present day developments and challenges.

Information on this topic (suggested readings and video) are linked here.  Additionally, the series offered an opportunity to promote awareness of the Westchester Library System’s information source for those in re-entry: the Westchester Connections Guide (

The schedule, roster of panelists, and highlights from each session are linked below.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW – Highlights from the 2017 events event are linked below.  Panelist bios are here

At each event, Brent Glass, Director Emeritus of the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution, acted as moderator.  Additionally, Dana White, the Ossining Village Historian provided a historical review of Sing Sing Prison and its impact on the community and criminal justice. Panel discussion with service providers, ex-offenders and distinguished lecturers  include interactive conversations about the past and future of the American criminal justice system.

October 5 | Ossining Public Library
Panelists: Roger Panetta, Professor Emeritus Fordham University and author, Sean Pica, Executive Director, Hudson Link, Cheryl Roberts, Executive Director, Greenburger Center for Social and Criminal Justice

October 10 | New Rochelle Public Library  Panelists: Janet Donat, Program Coordinator, FSW/EMERGE Program; Sister Tesa Fitzgerald, Executive Director, Hour Children; Elizabeth Gaynes, Executive Director, Osborne Association

October 12 | Yonkers Riverfront Library
One Larkin Center, 6 – 8:00 pm
Panelists: Brian Fischer, retired, former Commissioner of NYS Dept of Corrections/Supt. Sing Sing Correctional Facility; Charles Moore, Program and Alumni Coordinator, Rehabilitation Through the Arts; Katherine Vockins,  Founder/CEO Rehabilitation through the Arts

October  17 | Grinton I. Will Library (Yonkers)  Panelists: Martin Horn, Distinguished Lecturer in Corrections at the John Jay College, City University of New York, Executive Director of the New York State Sentencing Commission by appointment of the Chief Judge of the State of New York;  Justin Pruyne, Deputy Commissioner, Westchester County Department of Correction

October 26 | John C. Hart Memorial Library (Shrub Oak – Yorktown)
Panelists: Barbara Lambros, Westchester County Re-entry Coordinator for the Westchester County Re-entry Task Force; Roger Panetta, Professor Emeritus Fordham University and author; Edmundo Varela, Assistant Commission, Westchester County Probation

October 28 | Mount Kisco Public Library
Panelists: Dr. Kimberly Collica-Cox, Associate Professor in the Criminal Justice and Security Department with Pace University; Tamaris Princi, Abusive Partner Intervention Program Coordinator, Urban Resources Institute