For several months, PJI has been promising that our upcoming Worldwide Pretrial Innovators Convention, or Pi-Con, will be different, special, and “unlike any other justice gathering you’ve been to.” Now that Pi-Con is just six weeks away, it’s time we explain exactly why it will be so unique.
For starters, Pi-Con is a convention, not a conference. Conferences involve a lot of sitting, listening, and one-way information flow—the “good stuff” usually happens during breaks and evenings. At Pi-Con, you’ll be part of the action all day, developing solutions to major issues, honing your skills, and challenging yourself at “Pretrial Bootcamp.”
For example, you will hear Jessica Jackson from #cut50 talk about pretrial and mass incarceration in the “UP Incubator,” then share your perspective in our video booth. In the “Action Lab,” you’ll meet practitioners who have been successful in the field, and then work with them on practical strategies you can bring back to your system. We have even invited select members of the media to participate so they can ask more probing questions about the current system and proposed changes. All this will be hard work...and it will be energizing for everyone.
Also, conference attendance is typically driven by membership (in a field or discipline). Conventions, on the other hand, call to people who belong. People don’t go to Star Trek conventions because they are members of the Sci-Fi Writers Guild; they go because they are passionate—sometimes obsessed. Most Pi-Con attendees will be members of professional associations, government agencies, or advocacy groups. But that’s not what is moving them to attend. They are coming to Pi-Con because they share a passion to improve pretrial justice for everyone.
If you’re reading this, and if you’re committed to advancing pretrial justice, you belong at Pi-Con.
There will be plenty of new information to learn at Pi-Con, of course. We expect, however, that attendees will create at least as much as they receive. Pi-Con will be a safe space for each individual to be an architect in the movement to improve pretrial justice. The atmosphere will be casual, and we’ll have a little fun, but we’ll send you home ready to take on this serious work. You can even wear the Pi-Con T-shirt you bought here ahead of time!
2017 is the tipping point for pretrial justice. Judges, prosecutors, defenders, elected officials, sheriffs, law enforcement, community organizers, victims service providers, civil rights advocates—you!—already belong to this club. So come to DC and meet your kin. Pi-Con will help you recognize, seize, and create opportunities to close the deal on pretrial justice at home.
We look forward to seeing you there.