UNI hosts film and discussion series on disability as a social justice issue

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- The University of Northern Iowa Rod Library and Student Disability Services will host "The New Asylums: Mental Illness and the Criminal Justice System," as part of the Reaching for Higher Ground "And Justice for All" series. The event will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 17, in the Center for Multicultural Education (CME), on UNI's campus.

According to Frontline producers, there are nearly 500,000 mentally ill men and women serving time in U.S. jails and prisons, while fewer than 55,000 Americans currently receive treatment in psychiatric hospitals. Challenges faced within the criminal justice and mental health systems will be addressed in the discussion.

Steven Onken, associate professor of social work, will facilitate an audience discussion with panelists from local mental and criminal justice systems. Panelists include Al Hays, UNI emeritus professor in public policy; Thomas Eachus, UnityPoint/Black Hawk-Grundy Mental Health Center; Marvin Spencer, First Judicial District Dept. of Correctional Services; and Lacey Combs, a UNI social work masters student interning at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women.

Excerpts from a video titled "The Released" will be shown that contain some graphic language and imagery.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend. People with a disability who require a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program are encouraged to contact Susan Basye, assistant director of administration and planning, Rod Library, at 319-273-2737 or susan.basye@uni.edu at least one week prior to the event.

For more information about the film and discussion, contact Barb Weeg, collection strategist librarian and associate professor, Rod Library, at 319-273-3705 or barbara.weeg@uni.edu


Barb Weeg, Rod Library, 319-273-3705, barbara.weeg@uni.edu

Blake Ruane, Office of University Relations, 319-273-2761, blake.ruane@uni.edu