Panel Discussions

Race, Incarceration and American Values

A Conversation with Glenn C. Loury, Author, Race, Incarceration, and American Values and Leah Ward Sears, Former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice, hosted by David Blankenhorn, President, IAV.

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More by: David Blankenhorn

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Race, Incarceration, and American Values argues that mass incarceration is not a response to rising crime rates or a proud success of social policy, but the product of a generation-old collective decision to become a more punitive society. GLENN C. LOURY connects this policy to our history of racial oppression, showing that the punitive turn in American politics and culture emerged in the post-civil rights years and has today become the main vehicle for the reproduction of racial hierarchies. The uncontroversial fact is that we have created a nether class of Americans with severely restricted rights and life chances. Our system, Professor Loury contends, should be unacceptable to Americans; his call to action makes all of us responsible for ensuring that it changes.

This converstaion was recorded in New York City on May 4, 2011.


Institute for American Values, 420 Lexington Avenue, Room 300, New York, NY 10170-0399