10th Annual Symposium

November 13-15, 2013

Police States, Prison Nations

Enjoy photos of the Symposium here.
Enjoy a video recording of Professor Rodríguez’s talk here.

The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world.[1]  If we count people in prisons and jails as well as those on parole or probation, then 7 million people are under correctional supervision in the U.S., which amounts to 1 in 34 adults.[2]  Critics have identified the U.S. as a prison nation, arguing that the war on drugs, the war on terror, and crackdowns on immigration have compromised justice by increasing state surveillance and curtailing liberties in the name of greater security.

The carceral state is experienced especially acutely in the U.S. by racial and ethnic minorities.  Racial disparities have reached astonishing rates at every level of the U.S. criminal justice system.  African Americans and Latinos are disproportionately stopped by police, treated violently by law enforcement officers, detained, arrested, incarcerated, sentenced to death, disenfranchised, and ensnared in the school-to-prison pipeline.[3]

The 10th Annual Ray Warren Symposium focused on these pressing issues of civil rights and justice by analyzing racial ideologies and the contours of the carceral state.  Though many events focused on the contemporary U.S., students, faculty, activists, community leaders, and artists came together to address these questions historically, globally, and comparatively.  

Student Co-Chairs: Mikaela Aguilar ’15, Seraphine Allen ’15, and Kayla Nachsheim ’15