What Is a Criminal? Roundtable Discussion (Sidore lecture series)

Tuesday, September 17, 2019
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
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Gaudet, Kate
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 Our introductory session convenes a panel of UNH faculty and affiliates to lead an interactive discussion about the big questions of criminality. Who decides what crime is? Why does the United States incarcerate so many people? What is the purpose of punishment? How is the concept of personal responsibility affected by contexts of trauma, oppression, and mental illness? What responsibility does society have toward people who break the law?


Ted Kirkpatrick, Dean of Students, University of New Hampshire

John T. Kirkpatrick, a criminologist, earned his baccalaureate degree at Colby College in 1977 and his PhD in sociology in 1983 from the University of New Hampshire. Over the course of his career, he has served as a juvenile case worker, correctional officer in a maximum security prison for men, trained with municipal police officers at a state academy, conducted a comprehensive study of female criminal homicide, founded and ran a criminal justice research group, and worked for over thirty years with students at risk at the University of New Hampshire in his role as Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Kirkpatrick now serves as Senior Vice Provost for Student Life and Dean of Students. His research interests included criminal homicide, information sharing in the justice system, and emergency preparedness and response systems in the post-9/11 world.

Blair Rowlett, Director, Strafford County Community Corrections

Blair Rowlett earned her Dual Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Justice Studies from the University of New Hampshire in 2005. Shortly after graduation, she began her career at the Strafford County House of Corrections where she has become a decorated Correctional Officer. She then pursued a position with the Community Corrections Program to effect more positive change in the local criminal justice system, with a focus on the mentally ill population. Ms. Rowlett currently serves as the Director of the Strafford County – Rochester Mental Health Court. The program is designed to reduce recidivism, promote engagement in treatment, and improve the quality of life for its participants and their communities. Ms. Rowlett is a Mental Health First Aid instructor, a Trauma-Informed Response Instructor for Law Enforcement, and has created a curriculum for new Correctional Officers called “Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System.” She also speaks with local high school students about the programs offered in Strafford County and the importance of understanding how mental illness and the legal system intersect.

Amy Vorenberg, Clinical Professor, UNH Law

Amy Vorenberg was the founding director of UNH Law’s Criminal Practice Clinic and currently directs the Legal Writing Program. She began her legal career in New York as a Manhattan Assistant District Attorney. Later she worked as an Assistant Attorney General in New Hampshire before moving to the NH Public Defender’s office. She served for ten years on the New Hampshire Adult Parole Board. Professor Vorenberg’s teaching and research areas include Criminal Law, and Legal Analysis and Writing. She is currently co-authoring a textbook called Sexual Violence and the Law.

Subrena Smith, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of New Hampshire

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