Schedule of Events The program begins with a welcoming reception on
Sunday evening, April 23 (tentatively at 5 p.m.). The substantive sessions
will begin early Monday morning (April 24) and will run through Tuesday
(April 25) at 5 p.m. If you choose to stay for the executive session
working group, that meeting will take place all day on Wednesday (April
26). The tentative ending time for that session is 4 p.m.
On Monday and Tuesday, we will have luncheons hosted by
the Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum. There will also be a reception
at the University of Texas Law School on Monday in the early evening
immediately following the substantive sessions. Dinner will be on your
own each night, and there are excellent restaurants in the immediate
vicinity of the primary conference hotels.
Topics to be Discussed
The symposium agenda will feature a close look at international and
domestic oversight models. The international models include the British
Prison Inspectorate (an independent government body that routinely inspects
all British prisons), the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture
(an international treaty body that inspects prisons in 45 European countries),
the Swedish Parliamentary Ombudsman (an office that inspects prisons
and reviews prisoner complaints), and Independent Monitoring Boards
(civilian monitoring groups assigned to individual prison facilities
in England). We will also examine external oversight models in the United
States, such as Inspectors General, legislative oversight committees,
monitoring by advocacy groups, commissions, appointed citizen boards,
and accreditation audits.
The agenda will address the following topics:
Is transparency essential for the protection of human
What are the differences between regulation, accreditation,
audit, investigation, and inspection?
What does it mean to be “independent?”
What standards, if any, should apply during an inspection?
How much uniformity should there be among existing standards?
Are prisons and jails similarly situated when it comes
to oversight issues or are there different considerations that must
be taken into account in designing oversight mechanisms?
Does “oversight” necessarily include the
power to enforce recommendations?
Is it possible to maintain transparency without inviting
What is the role of the media in helping make prisons
transparent and accountable?
What would be effective oversight models for the U.S.
as a whole? Should monitoring bodies be national, state, or local
entities? Should they be branches of government, non-profit agencies,
citizen groups, or something else?
Please continue to check back as the conference agenda
Venue Information Austin,
Texas is the perfect venue for this event. It is an entertainment-filled
destination, known as the “live music capital of the world,”
and it is especially beautiful during the month of April, when wildflowers
are in bloom and the weather is delightful. Home to the state Capitol
and the flagship campus of the state university, Austin is a community
used to intellectual debate and engagement with important issues of
University of Texas tower
LBJ Library and Museum
The conference will be held at the Joe C. Thompson
Conference Center, which is located adjacent to both the Lyndon
B. Johnson School of Public Affairs and the Lyndon
B. Johnson Library and Museum on the University of Texas campus.
The LBJ Library and Museum, one of the nation’s most highly
regarded presidential libraries, is well worth the time for a more
extended visit than our luncheons will provide.
We will be providing transportation to and from the conference hotels
to all of the conference events.
If you are staying at either of the primary
conference hotels (The Driskill and the Stephen F. Austin Intercontinental),
it is neither desirable nor necessary to have a car. The hotels
are located in the middle of the downtown business and entertainment
district, and parking is very expensive.
If you are staying at the overflow
conference hotel (The Doubletree Club Hotel), a car may be helpful,
although it is not essential if you are willing to take a taxi to
get to restaurants in the evening. Parking at the Doubletree is
free and the hotel is within reasonable walking distance of the
University. We will also provide transportation from this hotel
to the conference venue.
If you have a car, free parking for the event is available in the Thompson
Conference Center parking lot, located on Red River Street, near the
intersection with E. Dean Keeton Street (26th Street). Map.