Saturday, October 21, - Sunday, October 22, 2017

portland, oregon

White Stag Block, 70 NW Couch St. (University of Oregon building)

Keynote Speaker: Vanessa Timmons, Executive Director, Oregon Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence

Our Women in Prison Conference takes place each year in Portland. It presents issues of justice-involved women in Oregon, provides attendees with a deeper understanding of legal aspects of the criminal justice system, and enriches the collective knowledge base for future reforms for a more gender-responsive criminal justice system. This event has consistently sold out over the years. Our attendees are social service providers, lawyers, formerly incarcerated individuals, state and local decision-makers, and community members.


We know that a significant number of women in our prison, jails, and under supervision have been victims of domestic violence and that those experiences contributed to their criminal activity. This year, we will focus on further exploring issues of women criminal defendants in this context. Some of the questions we will discuss: What is domestic violence? How does domestic violence contribute to women victims becoming criminal defendants? How is domestic violence accounted for in a woman's criminal defense and in her sentence? What are some ideas for reforms to create a more just system for victims of domestic violence who become justice-involved?


There are three ticket options for the conference. All tickets include breakfast and lunch on both days as well as hors d'oeuvres at the networking reception on Saturday.

General admission tickets are being sold on a sliding scale: you choose whether to pay $45, $55, or $65.

Registration is free for formerly incarcerated people. Information about your status will only be used for registration purposes.

Oregon attorneys may receive 12.25 Access to Justice credits for attending the conference. The fee for CLE registration (which includes all materials) is $99.

Conference Schedule


8:00 - 8:45
Networking coffee

8:45 - 9:00
Opening remarks

9:00 - 10:30
How victims access help and how law enforcement agencies respond

  • Amy Davidson, Crime Survivor Program Director, Partnership for Safety and Justice
  • Steph Ng Ping Cheung, LGBTQ Program Coordinator, Bradley Angle
  • Representative Carla Piluso

10:40 - 11:50
Women arrested for domestic violence perpetration: Differentiating between primary and secondary aggressors

  • Teresa Conlan, Counselor, Allies in Change
  • Dr. Chris Huffine, Executive Director, Allies in Change

11:50 - 1:15
Lunch and film screening: The story of Robyn Drown, justice through film

1:15 - 2:30
Native American women, domestic violence, and the criminal justice system

  • Dr. Carma Corcoran, Chippewa-Cree, Lewis & Clark Law School - Indian Law Program
  • Trish Jordan, Creek, Executive Director, Red Lodge Transition Services
  • Representative Tawna Sanchez, Shoshone-Bannock/Ute, Director of Family Services, Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA)

2:45 - 4:15
The path to reform

  • Professor Caroline Forell, University of Oregon School of Law
  • Representative Carla Piluso
  • Representative Tawna Sanchez, Shoshone-Bannock/Ute, Director of Family Services, Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA)
  • Vanessa Timmons, Executive Director, Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence

4:15 - 4:30
Closing remarks


7:45 - 8:30
Breakfast and Check In

8:30 - 8:45

8:45 - 9:15
Keynote: Vanessa Timmons, Executive Director, Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence

9:20 - 10:00
Who are Oregon's women in prison? A summary of the data

  • Mike Schmidt, Executive Director, Oregon Criminal Justice Commission

10:10 - 11:10
Understanding domestic violence and its impact

  • Robin Davis, organizer with Black Lives Matter PDX
  • Steph Ng Ping Cheung, LGBTQ Program Coordinator, Bradley Angle

11:20 - 12:30
Women currently incarcerated at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility join us to share their stories

Thanks to the Oregon Department of Corrections for their assistance.

12:30 - 1:40
Lunch and presentation on self-care

  • Dr. Sarina Saturn, University of Portland

We recognize that the topics we discuss at the conference and some of the stories participants share can be emotionally draining or bring up upsetting memories for attendees. To help with this, during the lunch break, we will have a presentation on self-care.

1:40 - 2:50
Defending the victim: criminal defenses for women who are also affected by domestic violence

  • Eric Deitrick, Attorney, Office of Public Defense Services
  • Kasia Rutledge, Criminal Defense Attorney

3:00 - 4:10
Perspectives from a day in the life of a district attorney and a public defender

  • Jeff Auxier, District Attorney, Columbia County, Oregon
  • DeAnna Horne, Attorney, Metropolitan Public Defender Services

4:20 - 5:30
How girls are affected by domestic violence, and how it can lead to their involvement in the justice system

  • Paula McDade, Founder/Project Director, Not on My Watch Women's Initiative
  • Lori McGovern, Counselor, Young Women’s Transition Program, Oregon Youth Authority
  • Jessica Tibbets

5:30 - 6:30 Networking reception


Many thanks to our sponsor and host, the University of Oregon School of Law.