Uladzimir Mackievič (Matskevich), a philosopher in Belarus who has been critical of Alexander Lukashenko, the country’s longtime dictator, has been in prison since last August, charged with “organizing of actions that grossly violate public order.” Owing to lack of progress with his case, he began a hunger strike on February 4th. (more…)
“I realized I couldn’t be what the officials were expecting of me. You got to put that in your head so they can’t break you. They want to break you. If you’re not broken, they say you’re crazy.” (more…)
The Whiting Foundation has named Michael Burroughs, associate professor of philosophy and director of the Kegley Institute of Ethics at California State University, Bakersfield, as one of its Public Engagement Fellows. (more…)
This month, the first group of seven incarcerated men will be graduating from a recently created program at Wesleyan University with their Bachelor’s degrees. Three of them—Michael Braham, Clyde Meikle, and Andre Pierce—will be graduating as philosophy majors. (more…)
The Northwestern Prison Education Program (NPEP), led by Northwestern University Professor of Philosophy Jennifer Lackey, has been raising funds and purchasing supplies to combat the spread of COVID-19 among prison populations in Illinois. (more…)
The Northwestern Prison Education Program (NPEP), an initiative “to provide a high-quality liberal arts education to incarcerated students in Illinois” while reducing recidivism, led by Northwestern University professor of philosophy Jennifer Lackey, has received a $1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to expand its programs. (more…)
Marymount Manhattan College is looking to hire someone with expertise in both public philosophy and prison education, neither of which have been listed as areas of specialization in a philosophy job ad before, to my knowledge. (more…)
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..
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..
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..
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..
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..
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..
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..