In this year’s upbeat Strong Voices series, Models for the Future At Work Today: Successful Strategies in Incarceration & Reentry, we’ll look at what’s being done well: the best prisons in the world; Sarasota’s outstanding jail programs and treatment courts; and the most progressive prison programs in the U.S.

Don’t miss our superb sixth season of Strong Voices at our new venue:

Michael’s On East
1212 South East Avenue, Sarasota
11:30 am to 1:00 pm
March 8th
April 5th
May 10th

Robert C. and Pamela Gore Meade, Co-Chairs

“An International Perspective” with James M. Byrne, PhD
Friday, March 8

Prisons from Norway to New Zealand have made international news for their progressive, positive practices. What cultural standards and social intent drive these approaches to incarceration? What types of housing, programs, and activities do they offer? Are they successful in preparing incarcerated citizens for reentry?

Project 180 friend and FSU professor Dan Mears immediately suggested Jim Byrne when we asked him to recommend a speaker for this topic. Professor Byrne, who has close to 30 years’ experience in criminology and criminal justice, will join us to discuss the world’s best prisons, their practices, and the cultural environments from which they arise.

Jim Byrne, PhD, is the recipient of The Distinguished Scholar Award and The Marguerite Warren and Ted B. Palmer Differential Intervention Award from the American Society of Criminology. He is co-editor of the journal, “Victims and Offenders: Journal of Evidence-Based Practices,” has conducted a wide range of evaluations of criminal justice initiatives, and has provided testimony on the effectiveness of community sanctions before Congress and the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

“Local Problem-Solving Courts” with 12th Circuit Judges
Friday, April 5th

Local problem-solving courts, also known as treatment courts, are turning lives around. Working in partnership with case managers and local nonprofits, including Project 180, they differ from traditional courts in that they seek to resolve underlying issues like addiction that cause citizens to become involved in the criminal justice system.

Learn about our local problem-solving courts and their successes on Friday, April 5th with Justices
Erika Quartermaine of Mental Health Court
David Denkin of DUI Court
Andy Owens of Drug Court and Veterans Court
Special guest Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight will join the panel to discuss the constructive–even life-saving–programs being offered at the jail.

“State Solutions” with Secretary Ralph M. Diaz
Friday, May 10th

We reached out to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) requesting a speaker to discuss the progressive programs being offered to inmates at San Quentin and other California prisons. We were surprised and thrilled to hear that the Secretary himself wished to join us to deliver the keynote address on May 10th.

Secretary Diaz will introduce us to the CDCR’s wide array of programs and activities like Marin Shakespeare, the Prison University Project, the Compassion Games, Cultural Awareness, Environmental Conscientiousness, Distance Education for Bachelor’s and Associates Degrees, and more.

Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear from the Secretary of the prison system that leads the country in progressive approaches to incarceration and preparation for reentry.

Secretary Diaz has over 27 years in the field of corrections, serving in various leadership roles over the past five years. He started his career in 1991 as a correctional officer, advancing to correctional counselor, correctional counselor supervisor, and prison warden. Mr. Diaz has been instrumental in developing policies and processes that focus on staff well-being and training, inmate rehabilitation and accountability, and communication with victims and families.

Become a Sponsor
Your sponsorship not only secures preferred seating at the lectures but also helps to support the series itself. Please consider a sponsorship to receive these benefits:

Platinum Sponsor $5,000
8 seats at each lecture with preferred seating
Recognition at each lecture with speaking opportunity at one lecture
Name and logo listing as Platinum Sponsor on all promotional materials

Gold Sponsor $1,500
6 tickets at each event
Recognition in media and event materials

Silver Sponsor $750
4 tickets at each event
Recognition in media and event materials

Bronze Sponsor $500
3 tickets at each event
Recognition in media and event materials

Patron Sponsor $275
2 tickets at each event
Recognition in media and event materials

For more information or to become a sponsor, please contact Barbara at

With Sincerest Gratitude to our Sponsors
Community Foundation of Sarasota County’s
“Edward K. Roberts Emerging Needs Fund”

The Boxser Diversity Initiative

Robert C. and Pamela Gore Meade

CareerSource Suncoast

The Herald Tribune Media Group

A Note from the CEO
We’re proud of Strong Voices. To our knowledge, it’s the only ongoing lecture series in the nation dedicated specifically to reentry issues. Conceived of and produced only in Sarasota, it keeps our community well-informed on reentry topics from year to year by exploring recent research, current trends, and innovative solutions to incarceration and reentry. This year’s topic is particularly positive as we look at what’s being done right throughout the world as well as in our own back yard.

See you at the lectures!

Barbara Richards
President/CEO, Founder

Project 180
PO Box 25684
Sarasota, FL 34277-2684