This year’s confirmed speakers include:
Jill McCorkel is Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminology and a faculty associate of the Africana Studies Program at Villanova University. Her research investigates the social and political consequences of mass incarceration in the United States. She focuses primarily on how law and systems of punishment perpetuate race, class, and gender-based inequities. Her recent book, Breaking Women: Gender, Race, and the New Politics of Imprisonment (New York University Press, 2013) explores the consequences of the War on Drugs and “get tough” policies for women prisoners. She is currently involved in developing Villanova’s undergraduate degree program at SCI-Graterford, the largest maximum-security prison in Pennsylvania.
Erika Kates joined the Wellesley Centers for Women as Senior Research Scientist in October, 2007. Prior to that she was research director 2002-2007 at the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy, at the University of Massachusetts Boston. There she directed research on the economic inequities among women and the importance of access to higher education for low-income women; the family connections of women in prison; HIV/AIDS among women of color in MA and homeless women and children. For the past ten years her research has focused on the family connections of justice-involved women. In 2010, she shifted her research focus to alternatives to incarceration, and formed the Massachusetts Women’s Justice Network.
Erica R. Meiners is Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Education at a Northeastern Illinois University, and formerly a visiting scholar at the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy (2011-2012), and a Lillian Robinson Scholar at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute in Montreal (2009-2010). She is the author of several books including Right to be hostile: schools, prisons and the making of public enemies (2009) and has published articles in Meridians, Social Justice, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Feminist Formations, Race Ethnicity and Education and Academe. Her current book project Intimate Labor: Trouble with the Child in a Carceral State (forthcoming 2015, University of Minnesota Press) explores how conceptions of childhood shaped a prison nation in the US. In 1998 she collaboratively started and still teaches at an alternative high school for men and women exiting prisons and jails, and in 2011 started to work with others to organize education and art programs at Stateville Prison.