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Event Details

Bill Keller: What's Prison For? Punishment and Rehabilitation in the Age of Mass Incarceration

Bill Keller, former Executive Editor of the NY Times and Founding Editor-in-Chief of The Marshall Project, will speak about his new book, What's Prison For?: Punishment and Rehabilitation in the Age of Mass Incarceration.This is event will be hosted in-person, on The Ivy's back patio.

Bill will be joined in conversation by Premal Dharia, Executive Director of Harvard's Institute to End Mass Incarceration. Ms. Dharia spent 15 years as a public defender, including in the Federal Defender's Office in Baltimore, and works at the intersection of reflective democracy and the criminal system.


Please join us for what promises to be a vital and engaged conversation on The Ivy's back patio. 

Click here to register!

Click here to order the book!

What's Prison For? examines the "incarceration" part of "mass incarceration." What happens inside prisons and jails, where nearly two million Americans are held? Bill Keller, one of America's most accomplished journalists, has spent years deeply immersed in the subject. He argues that prisons must become places where rehabilitation is a top priority, and introduces us to reformers who are trying to prepare incarcerated people for a better life on the outside.

Keller takes us inside the walls of our prisons, where we meet men and women who have found purpose while in state custody; American corrections officials who have set out to learn from Europe's state-of-the-art prison campuses; a rehab unit within a Pennsylvania prison, dubbed Little Scandinavia, where lifers serve as mentors; a college behind bars in San Quentin; a rare women's prison that helps imprisoned mothers bond with their children; and Keller's own classroom at Sing Sing. What's Prison For? is an indispensable guide to our prison system, and a powerful argument that the status quo is a shameful waste of human potential.

Bill Keller is founding editor-in-chief of The Marshall Project, an independent nonprofit news organization focused on crime and punishment in the U.S. He previously spent 30 years at The New York Times as a correspondent, editor, and op-ed columnist. As a foreign correspondent, he reported on the collapse of the Soviet Union, winning a Pulitzer Prize in 1989. Following Moscow, he became chief of the Times bureau in Johannesburg, covering the end of white rule in South Africa. During his eight years as executive editor, from 2003 to 2011, the Times won 18 Pulitzer Prizes. He lives in Southampton, New York.

Premal Dharia is the Executive Director of the Institute to End Mass Incarceration at Harvard Law School. She has spent the last twenty years dedicated to challenging injustice in the criminal system. Ms. Dharia spent nearly 15 years as a public defender in three different places: the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C., the Office of the Federal Public Defender in Baltimore, Maryland, and the military commission at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. After years in the field of public defense, she served as Director of Litigation at the Civil Rights Corps, and then started building a new organization -- the Defender Impact Initiative (DII) to incorporate public defender advocacy into the broader push for systemic change to the criminal legal system. Ms. Dharia has spoken and written widely on systemic challenges in the criminal system, racial and carceral injustice, and the need for radical change.






Event Details

Tuesday, October 11, 2022 - 6:00pm


The Ivy Bookshop - Back Patio, 5928 Falls Road, Baltimore, MD 21209

by Dr. Radut