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ARC, Inc. seeks to transform the U.S. criminal justice system by providing comprehensive and accurate life history investigation to decision-makers in order to inform the fates of individuals facing the most severe penalties.
Support the work of ARC, Inc.
We are excited to announce the dates for this year's Baltimore Mitigation Training Series workshop. It will be held at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law on March 16 - 18, 2018. Registration is available here.

At ARC, Inc., we see it as a critical part of our mission to provide trainings like this, which is why we work hard to ensure that we can provide the training free of charge. We believe that mitigation investigation is a powerful tool for those seeking to disrupt the dehumanizing narratives often seen in the criminal justice system; our goal is to provide critical skills to defenders working across the country to bring this tool to bear on all types of cases.
Training Details
Confirmed presentations to date include Joette James on neuropsychological testing; Lela Hubbard on entering the field; Kristin Adair on creating sentencing videos; Kelly Branham on Defense Victim Outreach; Jessica Sutton on working with attorneys; Tomiko Shine leading a panel from the Aging People in Prison Human Rights Campaign; Tanya Greene on contemplating race in your case; Ed Ungvarsky on getting funding in capital and non-capital cases; John Fox on advanced records collection; Elizabeth Vartkessian and Rachel Johnson on forward-looking mitigation and re-entry planning; and Jessica Sutton and Sadie Kosaber on case management.

Tentative Daily Schedule:
Friday, March 16: 1pm - 6pm
Saturday, March 17: 9am - 6pm
Sunday, March 18: 9am - 1pm

Special thanks to the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law for hosting the Baltimore Mitigation Training Series in 2018.

Other Information
Space is limited, so please let us know immediately (info@advancechange.org) if your plans change after registering so that others interested in participating can attend.

We have a group rate of $99 per night with the Holiday Inn Inner Harbor, about a 5-minute walk from our training. After registering, please contact Erin at esf@advancechange.org for booking details if you'd like to take advantage of the rate.

Please note on your registration form if you intend to seek continuing education credit for this training. Due to the number of jurisdictions represented, we will not be able to apply to any agency or association without having received a request.
Staff Profile:
Donna Venable

Contributed by Norrell Edwards, ARC, Inc. volunteer

Imagine a life of isolation—where for decades you have had little to no contact with loved ones or family. Every year, for as many years as you can remember, birthdays have come and gone unacknowledged. This is the kind of painful loneliness that many prisoners face. Often, it is only the work of those like Donna Venable, a Life History Investigator at ARC, Inc., that helps bring compassion and kindness back to inmates’ lives.

Donna remembers recently visiting a client who has been in prison since he was 18 years old. He is now in his 60s. When Donna presented him with a birthday card signed by everyone in the office, tears slowly began to form in her client’s eyes. He had not seen a greeting card in years. Who knew that something so simple, that many of us take for granted, could elicit so much joy?

As Donna says, “What we do is bring to light a lot of things that people don’t realize. When people support the death penalty, they believe our clients are monsters. But they’re not. They’re humans.” The team at ARC, Inc. works tirelessly to remind and show judges, prosecutors and the public that their clients are still humans, powerfully shaped by their experiences, just like the rest of us. In their quest to uplift clients’ lives, Donna says, “When I work with clients, I just want to tell their story.” Their stories might not escape those prison walls otherwise.

Donna, like her co-workers, is very aware of the impact of the current political climate. Some states that seldom had individuals on death row or hadn’t had an execution in years now have executions quickly lined up. The death penalty had been declining, but now things are changing. Yet, thanks to employees like Donna, they are ready to face these challenges head-on. As she says, “We can't get comfortable. We’re still fighting and we’re going to be fighting for a while.”
Like ARC, Inc.'s work? Learn more, spread the word, or get in touch! 
Copyright © 2018 Advancing Real Change, Inc., All rights reserved.


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