Inequality and Mass Incarceration in the U.S. – Fall 2015

The United States currently imprisons more people than any other country in the world. More than two million men and women are currently locked up behind bars, a population constituting roughly one in every one hundred American adults. This series will endeavor to understand how we have arrived at this era of mass incarceration and how it has shaped and reshaped social relations within contemporary American society. In particular, this series will examine how the phenomenon of mass incarceration reflects and intensifies racial, economic, spatial, and gendered inequalities. Additionally, this series will ask: what alternative ways of understanding justice are possible?

Elizabeth Hinton

Hinton Poster FinalHarvard University

Federal Policy, Urban Policing, and the Roots of Mass Incarceration

Thursday, November 19, 2015
Stern Center, Great Room, 7 p.m.

Shedding light on the devastating outcomes and the deep racial disparities within American law enforcement and penal institutions, Hinton traces the development of the War on Crime from its origins in the War on Poverty through the rise of mass incarceration and the War on Drugs in the 1980s. Hinton’s historical account situates the punitive policies of Ronald Reagan not as a sharp policy departure but rather as the full realization of the shift towards surveillance and confinement implemented by previous administrations.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of American studies, history, philosophy and sociology. It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s semester theme, Inequality and Mass Incarceration in the United States.

Biography (provided by the speaker)

ehintonimageElizabeth Hinton is assistant professor in the Department History and the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Hinton’s research focuses on the transformation of domestic social programs and urban inequality in the 20th century United States. She is the author of a forthcoming history Read more

Doris Fuller

Doris Fuller PosterTreatment Advocacy Center, Arlington, VA

The New Asylums: Mentally Ill and Behind Bars

Thursday, November 5, 2015
Stern Center, Great Room, 7 p.m.

Live Stream Link

In the 1930s, barely one in 100 jail inmates had a serious mental illness. Today, the most conservative estimates are one in five jail inmates and even more of the prison population. With video, personal story and professional insight, Fuller will discuss the role of mental illness in turning the U.S. into the world leader in incarceration and discuss practical measures to curb this trend.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Division of Student Life, health studies and the department of psychology. It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s semester theme, Inequality and Mass Incarceration in the United States. 

Biography (provided by the speaker)

Doris-Fuller-SeriousDoris A. Fuller is chief of research and public affairs, where she conducts and directs the Treatment Advocacy Center’s original studies abd research-driven communications, including public education related to mental illness.

Fuller has co-authored several recent studies from the Treatment Advocacy Center, including:

Read more

Nikki Jones

Nikki Jones Final PosterUniversity of California, Berkeley

How Things Fall Apart: Race and Suspicion in Police-Civilian Encounters

Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Drawing on years of field research among Black residents in urban neighborhoods, interviews with police, and videorecordings of police-civilian encounters, sociologist Nikki Jones illustrates how race, suspicion and bias shape the earliest moments of such encounters. She will also share findings from her research which reveals key interactional adjustments that could be used to improve the quality of police encounters with the public.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Churchill Fund and the departments of women’s and gender studies, educational studies, policy studies, and sociology. It is part of the Clarke Forum’s semester theme, Inequality and Mass Incarceration in the United States, and its Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

_EmilyKiyomiPhotography 06172Biography (Link to UC Berkeley Web site)

Nikki Jones is an associate professor in the Department of African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also a faculty affiliate with the Center for the Study of Law and Society. Her areas of expertise include urban ethnography, race and ethnic relations Read more

Christopher Wildeman ’02

Wildeman Final PosterCornell University

With Comments by Lauren Porter ’06, University of Maryland

Family Life in an Era of Mass Incarceration

Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Stern Center, Great Room, 7 p.m.

This lecture will consider the implications of mass incarceration for American families, focusing especially on the consequences of men’s incarceration for their parents, partner, and progeny.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and is part of the Clarke Forum’s semester theme, Inequality and Mass Incarceration in the United States.

portrait_cjw279 from Cornell Web siteBiographies (provided by the speakers)

Christopher Wildeman is an associate professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell University. He is also currently a senior researcher at the Rockwool Foundation Research Unit in Copenhagen, Denmark (since 2015) and a visiting fellow at the Bureau of Justice Statistics in Washington, D.C. (since 2013). Prior to joining Cornell’s faculty, he was an associate professor of sociology at Yale University (from 2010-2014) and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholar at the University of Michigan (from 2008-2010). He received his Ph.D. in sociology and demography from Princeton University in 2008 and his B.A. in philosophy, sociology, and Spanish from Dickinson College in 2002. His interests revolve around Read more

Patricia Hill Collins – “Morgan Lecturer”

PHC Final PosterUniversity of Maryland

Intersectionality, Black Youth and Political Activism

Thursday, October 1, 2015
Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium (ATS), 7 p.m.

Live Stream Link

This talk examines how intersectional frameworks shed light on new directions for anti-racist activism, especially among African American youth.

This program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Morgan Lecture Fund and co-sponsored by the Churchill Fund, Division of Student Life, the departments of sociology, women’s and gender studies, Africana studies, American studies, anthropology, English, history,  philosophy, and political science. It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s semester theme, Inequality and Mass Incarceration in the United States and the Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

PatriciaHillCollins_2014 Head ShotBiography (provided by the speaker)

Patricia Hill Collins is Distinguished University Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park and Charles Phelps Taft Emeritus Professor of Sociology within the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Cincinnati. Her award-winning books include Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment (1990, 2000) which received both the Jessie Bernard Award of the American Sociological Association (ASA) and the C. Wright Mills Award of the Society for the Study of Social Problems; Read more