Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

The Causes and Consequences of High Rates of Incarceration in the United States

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

4 p.m.

Joukowsky Forum

Reception to follow

Watch webcast

Over the past four decades incarceration in the United States has risen to a historically unprecedented level unmatched anywhere in the world. With 5% of the world's population, the US houses 25% of the world's prison inmates. Indeed, imprisonment has become a central element of American social policy, with vastly disproportionate effects on poor and minority communities. In 2012, with support from the National Institute of Justice and the MacArthur Foundation, the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences impaneled a group of experts to examine the causes and consequences of this unprecedented transformation. The study group's report has recently been published by the National Academies Press, and has garnered much attention from the national press, and from policy makers in the executive and legislative branches of government.  This event will bring together four members of the group which undertook this important study to discuss its findings and to comment on their implications.

Commentators on the panel will include:

Josiah Rich, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

Jeremy Travis, President of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY.

Bruce Western, Professor of Sociology and the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Professor of Criminal Justice Policy, Harvard University

Richard M. Locke, Howard R. Swearer Director of the Watson Institute for International Studies

Glenn Loury, Professor of Economics, Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences