UF law group holds 'Humanizing the Incarcerated' panel

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -- They want to put a face on prison inmates. The University of Florida College of Law held a panel Thursday about those in the prison system.
The panel was part of the student week against mass incarceration by the student chapter of the national lawyers guild.

Students said it was a chance to show future lawyers and others the impact that the prison system has on inmates.

"As future attorneys, we play an integral role with what happens in people's lives as it relates to being incarcerated and being locked in prisons," said President of the UF chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, Elizabeth Toms. "We need to recognize our role and the impact we have on people's lives as it relates to criminal justice."

"You might think it doesn't affect you, but it does. It affects society as a whole because huge portions of our population are being pulled into this prison system and it indirectly affects all of us, even if you don't think it'll one day affect you," said Toms.

The panel consisted of members of several organizations that fight for the rights of- and resources for- the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated.
This included:
-Karen Smith of the Industrial Workers of the World's Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee
-Panagioti Tsolkas of Fight Toxic Prisons
-Jhody Polk & Nick Livermont of Florida Council for Incarcerated & Formerly Incarcerated Women & Girls