Georgetown University's Prisons and Justice Initiative was founded to bring together leading scholars, practitioners, and students to examine the problem of mass incarceration from multiple perspectives.
Georgetown is ideally situated to establish an Initiative that will address one of the most crucial moral and political issues of our time. We have an extensive and distinguished faculty working on related topics, committed students who are eager to contribute time and energy, a 30-year history of prison education programs in nearby facilities, a prime location in close proximity to Washington policymakers, a reputation as a nonpartisan institution open to diverse voices and opinions, and a guiding Jesuit mission of intellectual inquiry and service of others.
Since 2014, a surge in demonstrations and media attention surrounding the events and judicial proceedings in Ferguson, New York, Baltimore, and elsewhere have turned the spotlight onto longstanding questions about policing, criminal justice, prisons, race, poverty, and human redemption. These questions call for informed analysis and open-minded discussion. By hosting a series of important academic and policy events, and by supporting a growing number of faculty and student research projects, the Initiative seeks to create a prominent and lasting platform to address the evolving challenges of criminal justice and prison reform.