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Are Prisons Tolerable?

Date and Time: 
Thursday, October 22, 2015. 05:30 PM - 07:30 PM
Meeting Location: 
Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity Boardroom
Workshop: 
Interdisciplinary Working Group in Critical Theory
Meeting Description: 
Speakers:
Michael Hames-García 
Professor of Ethnic Studies, University of Oregon
 
Respondent: Calvin Miaw, PhD Candidate, Program in Modern Thought and Literature
 
Meeting description:
Come join us for our first workshop of the 2015-16 academic year, for a conversation about Michael Hames-García's new work on prisons and abolition.
 
In light of recent conservative arguments in favor of sentencing reform and an emerging bipartisan consensus on the need to reduce the number of people incarcerated in the United States, the time is right to revisit older debates over prison reform and prison abolition. In this presentation, Hames-García draws from he debates that occurred in the 1970s and early 1980s in France, specifically those instigated by the Prisons Information Group (GIP) and its successor, the Prisoner Action Committee (CAP). As a result of their serious questioning regarding whether prisons ought to be tolerated, the GIP and CAP were able to score a number of victories through their lobbying and direct action. This question, however, has fallen by the wayside during years of conservatism and increasing prison populations throughout the industrialized nations of the world, most notably the United States which holds nearly one quarter of the world’s prisoners yet has less than five percent of the world’s population. In asking again whether prisons ought to be tolerated, Hames-García clarifies the stakes of multiple and varied calls for reform, decarceration, and abolition.

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