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Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison, Tuesday, September 18, 2018

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portrait of Bruce Western

Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison
Bruce Western, Harvard University

Tuesday, September 18, 2018
5:00 PM
Rhodes-Rawlings Auditorium, Klarman Hall


In the era of mass incarceration, over 600,000 people are released from federal or state prison each year, with many returning to chaotic and sometimes violent living environments. In these circumstances, how do formerly-incarcerated men and women navigate reentering society? In Homeward, Bruce Western examines the first year after release from prison. The book draws from hundreds of interviews with over one hundred people: both the families of and individuals returning to neighborhoods around Boston. The book describes the lives of the formerly incarcerated and demonstrates how poverty, racial inequality and failures of social support trap many in a cycle of vulnerability, despite their efforts to rejoin society.

Bruce Western is professor of sociology, Harvard University; visiting professor, Columbia University; and distinguished visiting research professor, University of Queensland, Australia. He received his BA from the University of Queensland, Australia, and his PhD in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Western's research examines trends in American economic inequality and the growth of the US penal population. These topics are joined by an interest in the shifting landscape of American poverty over the last 40 years. He is the author of Punishment and Inequality in America (2007) and served as vice-chair of a consensus panel of the National Academy of Sciences on the causes and consequences of high rates of incarceration in the United States. His new book is called Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison (2018).  Western is a Guggenheim Fellow, a Radcliffe Fellow and an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Science and the National Academies of Science.

Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison - Russel Sage Foundation

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