2017-2018 Events


Upcoming EVENTS 

Abbe Smith


"How Can You Represent Those People?"

Abbe Smith
Professor of Law; Director, Criminal Defense and Prisoner Advocacy Clinic
Georgetown University Law Center
Tues Feb 13, 12:30-2:00 PM
ICC 550
Food and refreshments provided
RSVP here

Any time a terrible crime is committed and a lawyer steps forward to defend the accused, an inevitable question arises: How can the lawyer defend such a person? Why spend one second on a monstrous criminal, much less advocate on his or her behalf? Many practitioners and scholars have written about the motivations of criminal defenders. Abbe Smith, a Georgetown Law professor who has been a criminal defense lawyer for more than 30 years, has her own body of work on this and related questions. This talk is a more personal account of why she has devoted her entire professional career to defending people most would just as soon banish and forget.



"The Jail Industrial Complex"

Nolan BennettMary Katzenstein

Mary Katzenstein and Nolan Bennett
Stephen and Evalyn Milman Professor of American Studies Emerita, Cornell University
Assistant Teaching Professor of Government, Georgetown University
Thurs, March 15, 12:30-2:00 PM
ICC 563
Food and refreshments provided
RSVP here

The "Prison Industrial Complex" (PIC), the term used to describe the alliance of interests among corrections, the market, and the state, has long been a powerful rallying cry for political organizing.  But the PIC has mostly dropped from view as an analytical concept within academic work on mass incarceration despite ongoing interest in the influence of profits and privatization on punishment in the United States.  In our study of jails, we revisit this concept --more specifically, the "jail industrial complex"-- as an investigative tool to examine the growing collaboration between carceral institutions and private corporations at the local level.  



Heather Ann ThompsonThe Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Why It Matters Today

Heather Ann Thompson
Wednesday, October 4, 7:30-9:30 PM
ICC Auditorium
Food and refreshments provided
RSVP here

On October 4, 2017, The Prisons and Justice Initiative, along with the Georgetown University Lecture Fund and the Department of History, was proud to host Heather Anne Thompson, the Pulitzer Prize and Bancroft Prize-winning author of Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and its Legacy (Pantheon Books, 2016).



"Prisoners of Democracy"

Michael Leo Owens
Associate Professor of Political Science
Emory University
Wednesday, October 18, 12:30-2:00 PM
   ICC 462
   Food and refreshments provided


Beyond the Sentence: A Lunch Hour Panel on Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions

Beyond the Sentence

Wednesday, November 15, 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM
McDonough 425
Georgetown University Law Center
600 New Jersey Ave. NW
Food and refreshments provided

PJI, along with the Georgetown Defenders and Georgetown Law Students for Democratic Reform, hosted a lunch hour panel on the collateral consequences of criminal convictions.


Prison Labor: Reform or Abolish? 

Prison Labor

Tuesday, November 28, 7:00-8:30 PM
Healey Family Student Center Social Room
Georgetown University
Food and refreshments provided
RSVP here

The Prisons and Justice Initiative and the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor presented "Prison Labor: Reform or Abolish?," a conversation on America's system of prison labor. 


Solitary Prison Cells

Solitary Confinement and the Threat to Human Dignity

Tuesday, January 16, 4:00-6:00 PM
Copley Formal Lounge

On Tuesday, January 16, the Prisons and Justice Initiative hosted a special panel discussion on solitary confinement. 


Rikers: An American Jail

Kalief Browder and Rikers Island: An American Nightmare

Monday, January 29, 7:00-9:00 PM
Copley Formal Lounge

The evening before closing the replica solitary cell exhibit, PJI hosted an event featuring several short excerpts from the extraordinary documentary film, "RIKERS: AN AMERICAN JAIL," produced and commissioned by journalist Bill Moyers.


Solitary Cell

Replica Solitary Confinement Cell Exhibit

January 16-30
ICC Galleria

On January 16, PJI launched a 2-week exhibit at Georgetown of a replica solitary confinement cell located in the center of the ICC Galleria. The exhibit also featured a virtual reality experience. 


The Prisons and Justice Initiative is currently making plans for additional events this year.  They will be added to this page once we have the information finalized.