Reading and Discussion: Reuben Jonathan Miller’s “Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration”

Zoom Event Tuesday, Feb 2, 2021 6 – 7 pm Eventbrite Registration

Please join the Lab and its partners as Assistant Professor Reuben Jonathan Miller reads and discusses ideas from his new book, Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration. He’ll be joined by Matthew Desmond, Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology at Princeton University. A Q&A will follow.

Exclusive Offer from Seminary Co-op Bookstore:
Preorder today and receive a signed copy of Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration by Reuben Jonathan Miller. See the registration confirmation email for more information. 

Presented by the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice in partnership with the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights; the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture (CSRPC); and the Seminary Co-op Bookstore.

About the Book: 
Each year, nearly 600,000 Americans are released from prison and join a population of twenty million people who live with a felony record.

Reuben Jonathan Miller, a former chaplain at the Cook County Jail in Chicago and is now a sociologist and professor at the University of Chicago studying mass incarceration, spent years alongside incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people, their friends, and their families to understand the lifelong burden that even a single arrest can entail. What his work revealed is a simple, if overlooked truth: life after incarceration is its own form of prison. They live in a “supervised society,” an alternate legal reality where thousands of laws and policies dictate where and with whom people with criminal records may live, work and spend their time. This state of affairs has changed the social life of the city, and altered the contours of American democracy one poor (often black) family at a time. 

Informed by 15 years of research and practice, and Miller’s experience as the son and brother of incarcerated men, Halfway Home captures the stories of the men, women, and communities fighting against a system that is designed for them to fail. As Miller searchingly explores, America must acknowledge and value the lives of the people we’ve learned to be afraid of—we must learn to make a place for the people whom we’ve locked away. 

About the Author:
Reuben Jonathan Miller is a sociologist, criminologist and a social worker who teaches at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration where he studies and writes about race, democracy, and the social life of the city. He has been a member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton New Jersey, a fellow at the New America Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, and a visiting scholar at the University of Texas at Austin and Dartmouth College. A native son of Chicago, he lives with his wife and children on the city’s Southside. 

About the Interlocutor:
Matthew Desmond is the is the Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology at Princeton University. After receiving his Ph.D. in 2010 from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, he joined the Harvard Society of Fellows as a Junior Fellow. He is the author of four books, including Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (2016), which won the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Carnegie Medal, and PEN / John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction. The principal investigator of The Eviction Lab, Desmond’s research focuses on poverty in America, city life, housing insecurity, public policy, racial inequality, and ethnography. He is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award, and the William Julius Wilson Early Career Award. A Contributing Writer for the New York Times Magazine, Desmond was listed in 2016 among the Politico 50, as one of “fifty people across the country who are most influencing the national political debate.”