HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Friday, September 1, 2006

Upcoming Conference - Punishment

Looks like a terrific conference -

Upcoming Social Research conference:

Punishment: The U.S. Record, which I think may interest you and some of your colleagues. This is the 16th conference in the Social Research series, which is dedicated to enhancing public understanding in an engaging, multi-disciplinary discussion and is scheduled to take place at The New School in New York City on November 30-December 1, 2006. Bob Kerrey, President of The New School, is inviting U.S. Senator Barack Obama to be the keynote speaker.

We are convening this conference at a time when our nation's prison population has soared by more than 600% since the 1970s, despite a drop in crime rates. As of 2005, over two million people were imprisoned in this country: almost one in every 136 U.S. residents. Black men, who make up 6% of the U.S. population, comprise over 40% of our prison population. A black male born today has a 32% chance of spending time in prison. Eleven states do not allow ex-cons to vote. Nearly 2,800,000 American children have at least one parent in prison or jail. In this conference, we are asking: What does this mean for our democracy? Where do our concepts of punishment come from? What is the effect of our staggeringly high incarceration rate on our families, communities and the economy? To view the agenda, schedule, paper summaries and speakers' bios and to register, please visit



Roberta Sutton

Conference Coordinator

The New School for Social Research

65 Fifth Avenue, 375 New York, NY 10003

P:: (212) 229-5776 x 3121

F:: (212) 229-5476


We have invited speakers from many disciplines to discuss the historical and theological roots of punishment as well as current issues in the U.S. today, which will allow us to better understand the consequences of the current practice of punishment and search for viable alternatives to the carceral state in which we now live. (Please note that as an added attraction, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will offer a guided tour of its collection focused on artistic representations of punishment in collaboration with the conference.)

Because I believe that this conference may be of great interest to you and many of your colleagues, I would be extremely grateful if you would help us get word to them about it so that they might attend.

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