Marc Howard

Founding Director

Marc M. Howard is Professor of Government and Law, and the founding Director of the Prisons and Justice Initiative, at Georgetown University. He is one of the country’s leading voices and advocates for criminal justice and prison reform. His academic research addresses the deep challenges of contemporary democracy and the tragedy of criminal justice and prisons in America. The author of three books and dozens of scholarly articles, his work has received numerous awards, including from the American Political Science Association and the International Studies Association. His most recent book is Unusually Cruel: Prisons, Punishment, and the Real American Exceptionalism. He is also a prize-winning teacher, and his “Prisons and Punishment” course has become one of the most sought-after courses at Georgetown. The students in his “Making an Exoneree” course—co-taught with his childhood friend, Marty Tankleff, who was himself wrongfully imprisoned for almost 18 years—re-investigate likely wrongful conviction cases and create documentaries that suggest innocence. Their project has already contributed to the exonerations and releases of Valentino Dixon, Eric Riddick, Keith Washington, and Arlando “Tray” Jones III, who collectively served over 103 combined years in prison. Under Howard’s leadership, PJI recently launched the Pivot Program, for formerly incarcerated women and men to become entrepreneurs and business leaders, as well as the Scholars Program, which offers both credit-bearing and non-credit courses to incarcerated students at the DC Jail.

For more information, see his personal website