Episode 169: Mass Incarceration with Dr. Mike Campbell - Part 1


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Get ready to brew theology with Dr. Mike Campbell* on episode 169 (part 1 of 2). The United States incarcerates a larger proportion of its population than any other nation and those imprisoned are disproportionately poor and people of color. Mass incarceration, as scholars have dubbed America’s imprisonment binge, has become a normalized fact of life over the last thirty years as corrections budgets have soared and incarceration has become a normalized element of life for people from the nation's poorest neighborhoods. Yet, some people have started to rethink this approach and some states have made significant reductions in their prison populations. This talk will provide some historical context on mass incarceration and will outline some of the promise and peril of current efforts to change America's peculiarly punitive approach to crime.

*Michael Campbell is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at the University of Denver. His research employs mixed research methods to examine the social, historical and political forces that shape law and policy, especially those associated with mass incarceration. His work has been published in the American Journal of Sociology, Law and Society Review, Criminology and other sociological and criminological journals. His current research includes a collaborative project (with Heather Schoenfeld of Boston University) that examines state-level criminal justice reforms that affect correctional populations and mass incarceration. The goal is to compare and contrast reforms across state contexts since 2000 to better understand how state and national forces have shaped policy reform efforts in the United States.


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