Carleton presents “Humanities in Focus: Mass Incarceration in the USA”

October 17, 2016

The Carleton College Humanities Center invites the public to its timely series, “Humanities in Focus: Mass Incarceration in the USA.” This modern-day phenomenon, often contributed to America’s War on Drugs, raises important questions about social inequalities stemming from disparities in race and class.  

All events are free and open to the public, and will be held in the Gould Library Athenaeum.

Tuesday, Oct. 18, 12 p.m.

“Finding a Way Back: The Perspectives of the Formerly Incarcerated”

Jon Vang and Willie Lloyd, both formerly incarcerated, will share their experiences building new lives after incarceration. They will be joined by their former teacher at Minnesota Correctional Facility-Stillwater, professor Deborah Appleman of the Departments of Educational Studies and American Studies. 

Wednesday, October 19, 5 p.m.
“Locked Out: Felon Disenfranchisement and American Democracy”

Presented by Annette Nierobisz, Broom Fellow for Public Scholarship and professor of sociology, in conversation with Christopher Uggen, Distinguished McKnight Professor of Sociology and Law at the University of Minnesota and a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology. 

Thursday, October 20, 5 p.m.
“Race, Mass Incarceration, and Human Rights”

Presented by David C. Fathi. Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) National Prison Project, which brings challenges to conditions of confinement in prisons, jails, and other detention facilities, and works to end the policies that have given the United States the highest incarceration rate in the world. 

America, land of the free, has earned the disturbing distinction of being the world’s leading jailer. Representing just 5 percent of the world’s population, we now hold 25 percent of its inmates. The “tough on crime” politics of the 1980s and 1990s fueled an explosion in incarceration rates. By the close of 2010, America had 1,267,000 people behind bars in state prisons, 744,500 in local jails, and 216,900 in federal facilities—more than 2.2 million people locked in cages. The ACLU believes that together we can cut that number in half by 2020.

David C. Fathi has worked as a staff lawyer at the ACLU National Prison Project for more than ten years before becoming director in 2010, and has special expertise in challenging “supermax” prisons, where prisoners are held for months or years at a time in conditions of near-total isolation. From 2012 to 2015 he represented the ACLU in negotiations leading to adoption of the United Nations Revised Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, known as the “Nelson Mandela Rules.” 

From 2007 to 2010 Fathi was Director of the US Program at Human Rights Watch. The US Program works to defend the rights of particularly vulnerable groups in the United States, and has published groundbreaking reports on the death penalty, prison conditions, racial discrimination, the rights of immigrants, and many other human rights issues. 

Fathi has lectured nationally and internationally on criminal justice issues. His op-eds have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Houston Chronicle, and other major media outlets. He is a graduate of the University of Washington and the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. He lives in Washington, DC.

This lecture series is sponsored by the Carleton College Humanities Center, the Department of American Studies, the Department of African and African American Studies, and the Broom Fellowship. For more information, including disability accommodations, call (507) 222-4192. The Gould Library is located off College Street on the Carleton campus and is also accessible via Highway 19 in Northfield.