2015: “Gender Goes to Jail”
The United States incarcerates, by far, more people than any other country in the world. The number of women in prison increased 646% between 1980 and 2010—nearly 1.5 times the rate of men. And there are more black males in the criminal justice system today than those enslaved in 1850—primarily for nonviolent drug offenses. How gender, class and race affect who goes to prison, the experience of imprisonment and the social consequences of our nation’s prison industrial complex will be the focus of the colloquium talks. The speakers will include Villanova University sociologist Jill McCorkel, author of “Breaking Women: Gender, Race and the New Politics of Imprisonment”; social policy scholar and activist Erika Kates from the Wellesley Centers for Women, an advocate of comprehensive social justice for incarcerated and disenfranchised women; and Erica Meiners, professor of educational inquiry and curriculum studies at Northeastern Illinois University, whose work examines the prison/school nexus and prison reform.