Lecture | October 16 | 4:10 p.m. | Bancroft Hotel, Great Hall
2680 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
Paul Butler will present the Jefferson lecture on Wednesday, October 16, 2019. The lecture, entitled "Prison Abolition, and a Mule," will be held in the Great Hall of the Bancroft Hotel and is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.
About the Lecture
Incarceration is a relatively recent development in the history of punishment, with the first modern prison constructed in Philadelphia in the early 1800s. The American penitentiary was intended as a reform, making the institution of punishment more humane and rehabilitative. Because the United States now locks up more people than almost any country in the history of the world, this nation is perhaps the best laboratory to assess the success of the experiment. By virtually any measure, prisons have not worked. They are sites of cruelty, dehumanization, and violence, as well as subordination by race, class, and gender. Prisons traumatize virtually all who come into contact with them. Abolition of prison could be the ultimate reform. The lecture will suggest what would replace prisons, how people who cause harm could be dealt with in the absence of incarceration, and why abolition would make everyone safer and our society more just.
This lecture is part of UC Berkeleys commemorative events spotlighting African American history after the passage of the 400 Years of African-American History Commission Act. To learn more about UC Berkleys initiative, visit 400years.berkeley.edu.
About Paul Butler
Paul Butler is the Albert Brick Professor in Law at Georgetown University Law Center and a legal analyst on MSNBC. He frequently consults on issues of race and criminal justice. His work has been profiled on 60 Minutes, Nightline, and The ABC, CBS and NBC Evening News. Butler lectures regularly for the American Bar Association and the NAACP, and at colleges, law schools, and community organizations throughout the United States.
Butlers most recent book Chokehold: Policing Black Men, published in July 2017, was named one of the 50 best non-fiction books of 2017 by The Washington Post. The New York Times described Chokehold as the best book on criminal justice reform since The New Jim Crow.