Mass Incarceration Working Group


The Mass Incarceration Working Group explores how the University of Chicago can address social injustices caused by mass incarceration; how we might create pathways to higher education for system-impacted individuals and communities; and how the campus community can foster a sense of belonging and full participation for students, staff, and faculty who may have a history of incarceration, as well as those affected by the incarceration of family members. The working group seeks to raise awareness about mass incarceration and, in particular, to make visible the unique challenges and stigmas facing formerly and currently incarcerated individuals seeking higher education.

Founded in 2019, the working group includes faculty, staff, and students in the College, the Division of the Humanities, the Division of the Social Sciences, the School of Social Science Administration, the Law School, and other campus divisions and units.

The working group also hosts short-term residencies with visiting scholars who are doing related work at other universities, including a visit from Michelle Jones on October 30 and 31, 2019. 

In September 2021, we established a Mass Incarceration Working Group fellowship for UChicago students to work on community-based projects addressing the crisis of mass incarceration during the academic calendar year. Congratulations to our 2021-2022 MIWG fellows!

The Mass Incarceration Working Group is convened by Alice Kim, Director of Human Rights Practice, and Tracye Matthews, Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture. It is backed by the Office of the Provost.


For more information and to get involved with the working group, please contact Lab Graduate Assistant Durrell Washington.