Events & exhibitions

Changing Carceral Systems through Compassion, Practice, and Research

  • Thursday, February 4, 2021
    4 PM ET
  • Online on Zoom
A person holds a placard that reads "Education NOT Incarceration"
A person holds a placard as people protest outside Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) headquarters to demand that the Board of Education defunds school police, amid nationwide protests against racial inequality, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 23, 2020. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - Image ID: 2CPA31K

Racial disparities in our carceral systems are profound and troubling. As a society, we appear to be at an inflection point where racial justice is a core priority for the incoming Biden administration and a majority of the public. This program will bring together the compassionate work of a practitioner on the front lines with the expertise of a world-renowned researcher in criminal justice policy. Together, they will discuss the key challenges of racial inequity in carceral systems along with potential solutions that could help realize justice.

Each session in this series will focus on a single topic area and will consider current policies, barriers that impede progress, and ideas for meaningful policy change, all with an eye toward promoting racial equity. We will gather experts from academia and practice communities to facilitate dialogue that brings together cutting-edge research with real-world challenges and solutions. These programs—concentrating on education, public health, and carceral systems—will explore proven and new ideas that offer solutions to these pressing issues, with particular emphasis on those that reduce racial disparities.

Event Video


Greg Boyle, Jesuit priest; founder, Homeboy Industries

Sandra Susan Smith, Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study; Daniel & Florence Guggenheim Professor of Criminal Justice and director of the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management, Harvard Kennedy School


Andrew Manuel Crespo, professor of law and director of the Program in Mass Incarceration, Harvard Law School 

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