Schedule for 2016

Announcing the 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival schedule! Find the session you're looking for by sorting by Program Tracks, Session Date, or search by session name or speaker.

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Breakfast Talk   Crime and Punishment
Prosecutorial Power and Justice Reform
7:45 am - 8:45 am MDT on Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Instances of wrongful convictions, misconduct by some prosecutors, public concern over mass incarceration, and evidence of racial bias in our justice system have appropriately focused attention on the actions and decisions by prosecutors, who wield unsurpassed power in our justice system. But some prosecutors are changing the role of the modern prosecutor, focusing on crime prevention—not just prosecution—as a crime-fighting strategy; using alternatives to prosecution or incarceration to achieve more just and better criminal justice outcomes; implementing conviction-integrity units to make sure best practices are followed at the beginning of cases; and fair and unbiased post-conviction review of cases. What other preventative strategies could reduce implicit biases that may affect prosecutors’ decisions in cases? How can we better ensure that prosecutors are seeking just results, not simply convictions?
Hotel Jerome Ballroom
Breakout   Crime and Punishment
Kids in the System: Why and How Juvenile Justice Must Evolve
10:15 am - 11:15 am MDT on Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Our juvenile justice system is too often overly punitive, inefficient, and outdated—especially given new findings about the immaturity of teen and young adult brains and the resulting behaviors. What should be the juvenile justice system’s goals? What are its most egregious failings? Where does it currently show the best results? How could it be better, and what are the most promising new ideas and strategies for working more fairly and productively with young people who break the law?
Koch Building, Lauder Room
Breakout   Crime and Punishment
Past, Present, and Future of the Death Penalty in America
10:15 am - 11:15 am MDT on Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Capital punishment in the United States is on the decline, driven largely by evolving public opinion and politics. Why is this shift happening, and where will it take us? What states are the holdouts, why, and what can we expect in the future for the country as a whole?
Kresge Building, Hines Room
Lunch Session on Campus   Crime and Punishment
In Conversation with Cyrus Vance, Jr.
12:00 pm - 12:45 pm MDT on Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Join the Manhattan DA for a broad-ranging conversation on his unique role as both crime fighter and community builder, and how our justice system must evolve to fight 21st century crimes such as identity theft, cybercrime, white-collar fraud, hate crimes, terrorism, domestic violence, human trafficking, and violent and gang-related crimes.
Aspen Meadows Restaurant
Deep Dive   Crime and Punishment
Deep Dive: Rethinking Prison
1:00 pm - 2:20 pm MDT on Tuesday, June 28, 2016
While federal, state, and local lawmakers consider reforms that may lower our incarceration rates in the future, more than two million Americans live behind bars today. Many of them will be reentering society in the months and years to come, so what they experience while incarcerated matters to all of us. Will they become stable and productive members of society? Or will they boomerang back into the justice system, representing potential danger to their communities and a setback in human potential, at a considerable cost to the taxpayer? The answer is greatly dependent on if and how prisons educate and train them, and how the rest of us work with them once they are released. This deeply experienced group of experts weighs in, with critical data and first-person knowledge from lives lived both inside and outside of America’s prisons.
Paepcke Auditorium
Speaker Salon   Crime and Punishment
Preventing the Next Gun Tragedy: The Work of Sandy Hook Promise
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm MDT on Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Meet and talk with two women helping to lead the charge and empower parents, schools, and communities against gun violence — often without even using the word “gun.”
St. Regis Hotel Ballroom
Evening Session   Crime and Punishment
Anna Deavere Smith Presents Excerpts from Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm MDT on Tuesday, June 28, 2016
For the past several years, acclaimed actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith has been on a mission: to probe deeply into the lack of opportunity and resources for young people living in poverty, and how these circumstances can lead so many of them into the criminal justice system. Smith has conducted interviews with hundreds of people personally affected by these issues, and now, using her signature form of theater, she has developed a play from these interviews: Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education. Through this stirring work—pieces of which Smith will present at this very special Ideas Festival evening—she shows us their stories and demands that we join her in hearing the voices of the young people our society has far too often chosen to ignore. After her presentation, a diverse group of experts will share their reflections on what they’ve seen and how we all might get involved.
Aspen District Theater