Thursday, September 4, 2014
8:00 am to 2:00 pm
John Jay College of Criminal Justice,
Student Dining Hall, 2nd Floor, New Building
524 W. 59th Street,
New York, NY 10019
Jeremy Travis (Chair), President, John Jay College and
Bruce Western (Vice Chair), Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
With five members of the
Committee on Causes and Consequences of High Rates of Incarceration
With members of the
New York State Permanent Commission on Sentencing,
The Honorable Cyrus Vance (Co-Chair), New York County District Attorney
With members of the
New York State Assembly and the New York State Senate
And with expert panelists
Lenore Anderson, Executive Director of Californians for Safety and Justice
After decades of stability, the United States saw its incarceration rate more than quadruple in the past 40 years. Currently, nearly 1 out of 100 American adults is in prison or jail. What drove this increase in the use of imprisonment, and how has it affected individuals, families, communities, and society at large? Has this shift in policy produced significant benefits, or is a change in course needed?
Asked to answer these questions, the National Research Council (NRC) appointed a committee of experts in criminal justice, the social sciences, and history to examine the evidence. The committee released its findings and recommendations in the report The Growth of Incarceration in the United States: Exploring Causes and Consequences.
The dramatic increase in incarceration has failed to clearly yield large crime-reduction benefits for the nation, the report concludes. In addition, the growth in incarceration may have had a wide range of unwanted consequences for individuals, families, communities, and society. The effects of harsh penal policies have fallen most heavily on blacks and Hispanics, especially the poorest. The report recommends that policymakers take steps to reduce the nation’s reliance on incarceration.