Touro presents expert on ‘carceral citizenship’

Vallejo Times-Herald
by Rachel Raskin-Zrihnen

University of Chicago criminal justice expert Reuben Jonathon Miller says we are living in a “supervised society,” and plans to explain what life is like for those caught up in the criminal justice system, at a free event at Touro University California on Mare Island on Tuesday, Jan. 15.

Touro’s University Public Health Program hosts a special presentation by Miller which “explores what it means to live in the ‘supervised society’ of the U.S. criminal justice system – the hidden social world we’ve produced through our laws, policies and practices – and, more importantly, how we might find our way out,” organizers said. The presentation is free and open to the public with prior registration, as seating is limited.

The program, entitled “Race, Punishment & the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration: The Impact of Crime Control, Policies & Practice on the Lives of Poor American Families,” explores what it means to live in a “supervised society” and, how this impacts criminal justice and social welfare policy, race and ethnic relations, and the urban poor.

“The U.S. criminal justice system currently holds 2.3 million people and more people are incarcerated in America than in any other nation in the western world,” organizers said. “But the prison is only part of a vast criminal justice landscape.”

Even once they get out of prison, former prisoners have lifetime hurdles to overcome, they said.

“Formerly incarcerated people are greeted by more than 48,000 laws, policies and administrative sanctions that limit their participation in the labor and housing markets, in cultural and civic life, and even with their families,” event organizers said. “This creates an alternate form of political membership – “carceral citizenship,’” which is a lifestyle apart, they said. “Miller will discuss what it’s like to live as a ‘carceral citizen’ and, more importantly, how we can change this system for the better,”

The event is from 4:30 to 6 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 15, at Touro University California, Lander Hall Auditorium B, 1557 Azuar Drive, on Mare Island, Vallejo.

To register, visit

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