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Spring 2021 Reading Group

Punishment, Prisons, and Justice

Prerequisites: None

Exam Type: No Exam

This reading group will interrogate theories and practices of punishment in relation to the American criminal justice system—a system that incarcerates people at a world-leading rate and severely impedes post-incarceration reentry into society. Discussion will be anchored by my recent book, The Limits of Blame: Rethinking Punishment and Responsibility (Harvard Univ. Press, 2018), and will include a range of other perspectives on punishment and prisons—retributive justice, focused deterrence, restorative justice, reconciliation, transformative justice, reparations, and prison abolition—in order to grapple with the ethics of criminal justice with regard to individual wrongdoing and social injustice.

Note: This reading group will meet on the following dates: 1/28, 2/11, 2/25, 3/11, 4/1, 4/15.