In February, in the chapel of San Quentin State Prison, seven philosophy undergraduates from the University of California, Santa Cruz faced off against a group of prison inmates—in an ethics discussion. (more…)
Fifteen inmates at Statesville Correctional Center in Illinois took a course on mass incarceration with Northwestern University philosophy professor Jennifer Lackey. It was an interdisciplinary course with a range of guest lecturers, including Alex Kotlowitz, a writer and a senior lecturer in journalism at Northwestern. He gave them an assignment to write about thei..
There’s a new project to bring philosophy to bear on policy issues. In this case it is free will skepticism and criminal justice.
The Justice Without Retribution Network (JWRN) will bring together res..
Lisa Guenther (Vanderbilt) is profiled in The Chronicle of Higher Education (paywalled) for both her teaching of philosophy in prisons and her activism regarding “the carceral state.”
She had been researching “the politics of confinement and the ethics of torture,” and their connection to academia, when “suddenly I realized that I really can’t do this work by sim..
Nancy McHugh, professor of philosophy at Wittenberg University, teaches philosophy in prisons as part of the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. These classes are held in prison and have 15 regularly enrolled undergraduates (“outside” students) in them and 15 students who are inmates (“inside” students). McHugh recently co-authored a paper with a group that included..
How did the United States go from a country that incarcerated roughly 500,000 citizens in 1980 to one that incarcerates roughly 2.3 million today? Civil unrest and rising crime were used to focus public debate on ideals of law and order. Those ideals were then employed to justify a criminal-justice system that, given social conditions, runs counter to race-neutral, ..
Sukaina Hirji and Daniel Wodak, two graduate students at Princeton, are currently teaching a class of fourteen prisoners at the Albert C. Wagner Youth Correctional Facility in New Jersey. You may recall that they were two of the philosophers interviewed here previously about their experiences teaching philosophy in prison.
Their course this term is called “Philos..
Jeremy Bentham’s Prison Cooking is a real book. Need I say more?
The book is based on a collection of Bentham’s papers marked “Panopticon – cookery, errors of present practice” and was put together as part of the Transcribe Bentham initiative at University College London. “The book features beautiful original illustrations by Jake Lamerton, and contains images, r..
Currently over two million people in the United States are in prison, and about nine million worldwide. There are many questions worth asking about the systems of criminal justice that lead to that result. The focus of this post, though, is quite narrow. It concerns just one thing academic philosophers can do, as academic philosophers, in light of this: teach prison..