Penal Power in America: The Social Roots of Mass Incarceration

David Garland, New York University School of Law

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 4:30pm
301 Marx Hall
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LAPA’s seminar format assumes that seminar participants have familiarized themselves with the paper in advance. The commentator opens the session by summarizing the main themes in the paper and presenting some topics for discussion. The author then has the right of first response before we open to the floor for questions. The seminar will end with a brief reception, giving everyone a chance to mingle and meet.

Abstract:  "This paper aims (i) to reconnect America’s extraordinary use of penal power with the nation’s distinctive violence rates and the underlying forms of social disorganization and cumulative disadvantage that characterize its social landscape; (ii) to highlight the role played by processes of informal social control in linking political economy with patterns of crime and punishment; and (iii) to explain how limits of state capacity and political action constrain governmental responses to these problems. Its focus throughout is on the role that penal controls have come to play in the wider matrix of social and state controls."

David Garland
New York University School of Law

David Garland is the Arthur T. Vanderbilt Professor of Law and Professor of Sociology at New York University. He is the author of a series of award-winning books on punishment and criminal justice, including Punishment and Modern Society (1990); The Culture of Control (2001) and Peculiar Institution: America’s Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition (2010); the editor of Criminology and Social Theory (2000) and Mass Imprisonment: Social Causes and Consequences (2001); and the founding editor of the journal Punishment & Society. His most recent book, The Welfare State: A Very Short Introduction, was published by Oxford University Press in 2016. 

Jessica Eaglin
LAPA Fellow
Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Jessica M. Eaglin is an expert in the area of sentencing law and policy.  She also teaches courses on criminal law and evidence. Her scholarship examines state and federal responses to the economic and social pressures of mass incarceration in the United States, with a particular focus on recidivism risk predictions. She serves as a member of Uber Technology, Inc.'s inaugural Safety Advisory Board.  Before joining the Maurer faculty, Professor Eaglin worked as Counsel in the Justice Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School and clerked with the Honorable Damon J. Keith for the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. She received her B.A. from Spelman College and both a Masters of Arts in Literature and a J.D. from Duke University.