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August 26, 2002


Former Senator Paul Simon, a Democrat from Illinois, will share his thoughts on the current state of our criminal justice system in a talk set for Thursday, Sept. 5 in the Viterbo University Fine Arts Center.

Simon’s 7:30 p.m. presentation, which is free and open to the public, will conclude a conference held on campus called, "Crime and Punishment on Trial: Community Values and the Criminal Justice System."

As an influential member of Congress, Simon has spent over 40 years in public service and his opinions on a variety of topics were known and respected on both sides of the political aisle. Now retired from public office, he currently serves as director of the Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University. Simon’s appearance will be the capstone event of a daylong, five-session conference at Viterbo intended to address issues confronting our overburdened criminal justice system. Many of the topics covered, such as: prevention, community safety, and intervention, were the major focus of the La Crosse County Criminal Justice Management Council.

The conference and Simons visit is sponsored by the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership with support from the La Crosse Tribune, the Wisconsin Public Defenders Office, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s School of Education, Western Wisconsin Technical Institute and the Viterbo University Department of Criminal Justice.

"We are very fortunate to have in individual of Simon’s stature on campus," said Richard Kyte, director of the Reinhart Institute.  "Our current system of justice is costly and overburdened and many professionals as well as the taxpayers, are asking, ‘What are the alternatives.’ The conference and Simon’s talk will allow us to bring attention to this very compelling issue."

Further details regarding the conference or Simon’s presentation, is available on the Web by connecting to the ethics institute site located on the homepage, emailing, or by calling Kyte at 796-3704. 

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