What Happens Inside Our Prisons and How We Got Here

Tuesday, October 18, 2022
6:00pm — 7:00pm ET
Columbia University / virtual event

Join Bill Keller, author of What’s Prison For? along with Vivian Nixon and Emily Bazelon for a conversation about the American prison experience, and how we can reform a broken system, moderated by Nicholas Lemann.

Acclaimed journalist Bill Keller has spent years discovering what is possible if prisons focus on preparing incarcerated people to return to society, instead of punitive punishment. His new book, What’s Prison For?, argues that the most important role of prisons is preparing incarcerated people to be good neighbors and good citizens when they return to society, as the overwhelming majority will.


While much of the national debate about prisons has focused on the history and enormous costs of mass incarceration in America, incarceration itself is often left out of the conversation. In What’s Prison For? Punishment and Rehabilitation in the Age of Mass Incarceration, Bill Keller illuminates the current state the American prison system, and investigates how successful we are (or aren’t) at fulfilling one of the criminal justice system’s ostensible purposes: rehabilitation.

Learn more and get your copy of What’s Prison For? here


Panelists
Bill Keller, founding editor-in-chief of the Marshall Project, an independent nonprofit news organization focused on crime and punishment in the U.S. He was previously the executive editor of the New York Times and the winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1989 for his reporting on the USSR.

Vivian D. Nixon, Writer in Residence at The Columbia Justice Lab's Square One Project. From 2001 through 2021, she served as Executive Director of College & Community Fellowship, a collective of women rebuilding their lives through education after incarceration. She is co-editor of What We Know: Solutions from Inside the Justice System.

Emily Bazelon, staff writer for the New York Times Magazine, and the Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law at Yale Law School. She is the bestselling author of Charged: The New Movement to Transform American Prosecution and End Mass Incarceration, and a cohost of the popular weekly podcast Slate Political Gabfest.

Nicholas Lemann, director of Columbia Global Reports and Dean Emeritus of Columbia Journalism School. He’s also a staff writer for the New Yorker and the author of several highly acclaimed books.

Register Here

Add to Calendar 10/18/2022 18:00 10/18/2022 19:00 MM/DD/YYYY What Happens Inside Our Prisons and How We Got Here

Join Bill Keller, author of What’s Prison For? along with Vivian Nixon and Emily Bazelon for a conversation about the American prison experience, and how we can reform a broken system, moderated by Nicholas Lemann. Acclaimed journalist Bill Keller has spent years discovering what is possible if prisons focus on preparing incarcerated people to return to… more

Columbia University / virtual event

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