Ann Lucas Lecture series spring event set for March 11

The College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ Justice Studies Department at San José State University will host a debate with Hadar Aviram on her recently published book, “Cheap on Crime: Recession-Era Politics and the Transformation of American Punishment,” as part of the Spring 2015 Ann Lucas Lecture in Law and Justice, on March 11, from 5-7 p.m. in the Student Union Theater. The event is free and open to the public.

Hadar Aviram

Hadar Aviram

The debate will feature Aviram, of the University of California, Hastings College of Law; Alessandro De Giorgi, a Justice Studies professor at SJSU; Jay Borchert, from the University of Michigan and Selena Teji, of the California Budget Project.

According to a press release, Aviram’s book uses archival and news reports as well as social history and economics literature to show the powerful impact of recession-era discourse on the death penalty, the war on drugs, incarceration practices, prison health care and other aspects of the American correctional landscape. In her book, Aviram posits that the 2008 financial crisis demonstrated the unsustainable nature of incarceration and empowered policy makers to reform punishment through fiscal prudence and austerity.

Aviram is a professor of law at UC Hastings College of Law. She has a masters of art in criminology from Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Ph.D in U.C. Berkley’s Jurisprudence and Social Policy program. Her research focuses on the criminal justice system and examines policing, courtroom practices and broad policy decisions through social science perspectives. She codirects the Hastings Institute for Criminal Justice and publishes the California Correctional Crisis blog.

Cheap on Crime 2-25 FINAL (Event Flier – PDF)

Justice Studies hosts debate on mass incarceration today

The College of Applied Sciences and Arts Justice Studies department will host the Fall 2014 Ann Lucas Lecture in Law & Justice at San José State University Nov. 13, from 4-6 p.m. in Yoshihiro Uchida Hall 124.

The lecture today will feature a debate on Jonathan Simon’s recently published book “Mass Incarceration on Trial: A Remarkable Court Decision and the Future of Prisons in America.”

The debate panel will include Simon, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Elliott Currie, of UC Irvine,  Mohamed Shehk, the national media and communications director of Critical Resistance, and Edith Kinney, an SJSU Justice Studies professor.

In his book, Simon argues against the system of mass incarceration that he says relies on “racist gangs, lockdowns, and Supermax-style segregation units to maintain a tenuous order.” His book discusses how the 2011 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Plata could transform the prison system and Simon presents the opportunity to “replace mass incarceration with a system anchored in the preservation of human dignity.”

The lecture is free and open to the public.

For more on the event, view the flier here (PDF): Mass Incarceration on Trial flyer