Events / Neil A. Weiner Research Speaker Series


Life in the Year After Prison

Past Event
Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018
6:00 PM — 7:30 PM
Vera Institute of Justice

In the era of mass incarceration, over 600,000 people are released from federal or state prison each year, with many returning to chaotic and sometimes violent living environments. In these circumstances, how do formerly-incarcerated men and women navigate reentering society? In Homeward, sociologist Bruce Western examines the first year after release from prison. Drawing from hundreds of interviews with over one hundred individuals returning to neighborhoods around Boston, he describes the lives of the formerly incarcerated and demonstrates how poverty, racial inequality, and failures of social support trap many in a cycle of vulnerability despite their efforts to rejoin society.

Bruce Western is a professor of sociology at Harvard University, visiting professor at Columbia University, and distinguished visiting research professor at the University of Queensland in Australia. Western's research examines trends in American economic inequality and the growth of the U.S. incarcerated population. These topics are joined by an interest in the shifting landscape of American poverty over the last 40 years. Western served as vice chair of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Causes and Consequences of High Incarceration Rates in the United States, and he is the principal investigator on the Harvard Executive Session on Community Corrections and the Boston Reentry Study. He is the author of the award-winning book, Punishment and Inequality in America.

5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Reception
6:00 p.m. - 6:35 p.m. Talk by Prof. Bruce Western
6:35 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Talk Back and Q&A