University President honors PJI Director Marc Howard

Marc Howard Honored with Distinguished Scholar-Teacher Award

The Prisons and Justice Initiative’s Founding Director Marc Howard was honored with Georgetown’s President’s Awards for Distinguished Scholar-Teachers, the university announced on March 8.

The prestigious award recognizes faculty members who integrate outstanding research and excellence in teaching. Howard was honored alongside English Professor Jennifer Natalya Fink and Classics Professor Josiah Osgood. The three honorees were recognized at the Spring Faculty Convocation on March 21 and each received an annual grant of $10,000 for three academic years to support their scholarship.

A Professor of Government and Law, Howard founded the Prisons and Justice Initiative (PJI) in 2016 to empower and humanize incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people through education and professional development. Under Howard’s leadership, PJI has expanded to include multiple prison education and reentry programs, including the Prions Scholars Program, the MORCA-Georgetown Paralegal Program, and the Pivot Program.

In prisons and on main campus, Howard has inspired students to engage with tough criminal legal reform topics over his nearly two decades at Georgetown. His unique “Prisons and Punishment” and “Forgotten Humanity of Prisoners” courses bring together Georgetown undergraduates and Prison Scholars at the D.C. Jail. And the “Making an Exoneree” course, which he co-teaches with his childhood friend and exoneree Marty Tankleff — Georgetown’s Peter P. Mullen Distinguished Visiting Professor — has played a part in bringing innocent people home from prison.

Howard is also the Founder and President of the Frederick Douglass Project for Justice, a nonprofit organization that launched in 2020 and allows members of free society to connect with people in prisons in order to discover common humanity and advocate for systemic change.