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Carr Lecture topic: Restorative Justice

Carr Lecture topic: Restorative Justice

Sept. 12, 2013

sujatha baliga
sujatha baliga

“Restorative Justice’s Paradigm Shift” is the title of this fall’s Carr Distinguished Interdisciplinary Lecture at Skidmore College, to be presented Wednesday, Sept. 18, by sujatha baliga, director of the Restorative Justice Project at the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD).

Free open to the public, the talk will begin at 5 p.m. in Gannett Auditorium, Palamountain Hall. baliga will discuss her career path as a lawyer committed to social justice and how restorative justice can bring healing to all sides of crime and harm.

On her web site baliga explains that her work is characterized by an equal dedication to victims and persons accused of crime. She has worked extensively with victims of domestic violence and child sexual abuse as an advocate and board member for rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters. Following law school she worked several years as an appellate public defender in New Mexico and at the Office of the Appellate Defender in New York City. In 2006 she relocated to California to work on capital cases.  

In 2008, baliga received a Soros Justice Fellowship, which she used to spearhead a successful restorative juvenile diversion program in Alameda County. She has served as a consultant to the Stanford Criminal Justice Center and taught restorative justice at New College School of Law and at the California Institute for Integral Studies. She is regularly invited to address groups of prisoners and restorative justice programs about her personal experiences as a survivor of child sexual abuse and her path to forgiveness. A frequent guest lecturer at academic institutions and conferences, she has also testified before legislative bodies on proposed legislation impacting criminal and civil penalties for sexual assault and abuse. She recently completed a term as the convener of the Alameda County Restorative Juvenile Justice Task Force. As the director of Community Justice Works, she expanded the restorative juvenile diversion program she began through her Soros Fellowship. Today baliga is director of the Restorative Justice Project at NCCD, which is dedicated to promoting just and equitable social systems for individuals, families, and communities through research, public policy, and practice.

baliga earned an A.B. degree from Harvard and Radcliffe colleges and a J.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She has held federal clerkships with the Hon. William K. Sessions III, chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and with the Hon. Martha Vázquez. An emerging national voice in restorative justice, she was honored as Northeastern University Law School’s Daynard Fellow and has been a guest on NPR's “Talk of the Nation.” baliga’s personal and research interests include victims’ voices in restorative practices, the forgiveness of seemingly unforgivable acts, and Tibetan notions of justice.

Skidmore faculty members David Karp, professor of sociology, and Bina Gogineni, assistant professor of English, coordinated this fall’s Carr lecture.

Sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Special Programs at Skidmore, the Carr Distinguished Interdisciplinary Lecture Series allows students and faculty to interact with influential leaders and professionals on the cutting edge of social issues, nonprofit and public service innovations, and social responsibility, with a specific emphasis on helping Skidmore students think about the transition from college to the working world or to further studies. In addition to the public presentation, baliga’s Carr residency includes participating Skidmore’s Sept. 20 Capital Region Restorative Justice Conference, where she will deliver the keynote address.

For more information about the Carr Lecture Series, click here. For details about the conference on restorative justice, click here

Tags: Campus Life, Career Development, Community, Carr Distinguished Interdisciplinary Lecture, restorative justice, Capital Region Restorative Justice Conference, sujatha baliga, David Karp, Bina Gogineni, National Council on Crime and Delinquency, Office of the Dean of Special Programs, civic engagement
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