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Organizing Committee


Dr. Diane Bates, Associate Professor of Sociology and Department Chair: Dr. Bates has been a strong advocate of community engaged learning at TCNJ, and works to connect the College community to the service needs of disadvantaged communities in Trenton. Her research focuses on social and environmental change in Latin America.

Dr. Celia Chazelle, Professor of History, serves as co-director of the Institute for Prison Teaching and Outreach and as TCNJ’s site coordinator for NJ STEP. A specialist in medieval history, her research interests encompass responses to wrongdoing in Europe during the early medieval centuries, ca. 500-1000 CE, when prisons were relatively rare. She teaches year-round as a volunteer or TCNJ instructor at area prisons.

Dr. Margaret Leigey, Assistant Professor of Criminology: Dr. Leigey’s research currently centers on special populations of inmates, including those sentenced to life, and on juveniles incarcerated in adult facilities.

Dr. Robert McGreevey, Assistant Professor of History: Dr. McGreevey’s research centers on Latino immigrant populations and migrant communities in the US. He taught TCNJ’s Fall 2010 semester combined course at Albert C. Wagner Youth Correctional Facility, on the history of cities and suburbs in the 20th century US.

Dr. Bruce Stout, Professor of Criminology: Dr. Stout is the former Executive Director of the Violence Institute at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He served under Governor Whitman as Research Director for the Juvenile Delinquency Commission and, under Governor Corzine, as a member of the NJ Sentencing Commission and chair of the reentry working group for the Governor’s crime plan. In Spring 2011, Dr. Stout has taught a combined course at Albert C. Wagner Youth Correctional Facility, on special issues in crime and justice.

Dr. Michele Tarter, Professor of English: In 2001, Dr. Tarter founded a memoir-writing program in New Jersey’s only maximum-security prison for women, the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility. Called “Woman is the Word,” this 10-week writing workshop first studies women’s autobiographies written across the centuries and then invites the participants (whom Dr. Tarter calls “wisewomen”) to write their own life stories as a means of healing, empowerment, and self-reclamation. Dr. Tarter takes TCNJ undergraduate and graduate students in with her as co-teachers of this workshop. Dr. Tarter is currently working on a book manuscript about this life-transforming work.