Home  
  News  Expand   News  
    About    Expand     About    
  Projects  Expand   Projects  
  Members  Expand   Members  
  Publications  Expand   Publications  
  Meetings  Expand   Meetings  
  Fellowships  Expand   Fellowships &nbsp
  Prizes  
  Contribute  
  Member Login

Symposium on the Challenges of Mass Incarceration in America

9/17/2009

Press Release

WHAT: Symposium on the Challenges of Mass Incarceration in America

WHO:
Larry Kramer, dean, Stanford Law School
Nicola Lacey, professor of criminal law and legal theory, London School of Economics
Glenn Loury, professor of the social sciences; professor of economics, Brown University; co-chair, Task Force on Mass Incarceration, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Joan Petersilia, professor of law, Stanford Law School; co-director, Stanford Criminal Justice Center
Robert Weisberg, professor of law, Stanford Law School; co-director, Stanford Criminal Justice Center
Bruce Western, professor of sociology, Harvard University; co-chair, Task Force on Mass Incarceration, American Academy of Arts and Sciences

WHEN: Thursday, September 17, 2009, 6-7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Stanford Law School, Room 190, Crown Quadrangle, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, CA

SPONSORS: American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Stanford Criminal Justice Center

The symposium is by invitation only but journalists are encouraged to register by contacting the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The United States penal population has grown every year for the past thirty-six years. The rate of imprisonment in the United States is now four times its historic average and seven times higher than in Western Europe. Even more striking than the overall level of incarceration is the concentrated force of the penal system on the most disadvantaged segments of the population. One-third of African American men who are high-school dropouts under the age of 40 are currently behind bars. Among all African American men born since the mid-1960s, more than 20 percent will go to prison, nearly twice the number that will graduate college. This extraordinary pattern of penal confinement has been called “mass incarceration,” a rate of incarceration so high that it affects not only the individual offender, but also whole social groups.

Though largely invisible in public conversations about social inequality in America, mass incarceration is a growing issue at the federal, state, and local levels and threatens to undermine the most basic goals of the civil rights movement. The American Academy’s project on The Challenges of Mass Incarceration in America is examining the scope of mass incarceration, its political and economic significance, and its social impact, weighing the concerns about crime control, rehabilitation, and more fundamental issues of social justice.

 

Media Inquiries