Past Events

2023 Events

PBS NewsHour’s “Searching for Justice”: Incarceration and the Family

Oct. 10, 2023
PJI hosted PBS NewsHour in Gaston Hall for a panel discussion focused on the effects of incarceration on the family, moderated by NewsHour co-anchor Geoff Bennett. The conversation, featuring PJI Director of Reentry Services, was part of the multi-platform series “Searching for Justice,” which explores criminal justice reforms unfolding across the country.

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Making An Exoneree 2023 Documentary Showcase

May 3, 2023
Five lives shattered by wrongful convictions. Five stories of their search for justice and freedom. Students in the 2023 Making an Exoneree cohort premiered five short documentaries that revealed the facts – and falsehoods – of wrongful conviction cases from around the country.

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“The First Step” Documentary Screening

February 23, 2023
PJI partnered with the creators of The First Step documentary for the film’s theatrical release in D.C. The First Step tells a complex, urgent story about the fight for progress on criminal legal reform and addiction amongst the country’s divides. Go behind closed doors to see Van Jones and a team of advocates bring together politicians and everyday people fight to pass legislation to bring people home. Following the film screening, PJI led a brief panel discussion with the Mayor’s Office on Returning Citizen Affairs and the DC Attorney General’s Office.

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2022 Events

Free Billie Allen + We The People March on Washington

Nov. 13, 2022
The Free Billie Allen Campaign partnered with several social justice organizations to host a festival and rally in Washington, D.C. to call on President Biden to pardon Billie Allen, an innocent man who was sentenced to death over 25 years ago for a crime he didn’t commit. After the rally, organizers hosted an art show featuring works by Billie himself and artist Halim Flowers, a Prison Scholars alum and close friend of PJI. Students in the Making An Exoneree course helped tell Billie’s story in 2022.

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Gun Violence and Prevention in the DMV

Nov. 11, 2022
The Georgetown Department of Government’s Valerie Earle Lecture brought together local experts on gun violence and prevention, conflict resolution, social justice, and community mediation in the Washington DC-Baltimore metropolitan area. 

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Making An Exoneree 2022 Showcase

May 4, 2022
Students in the 2022 Making an Exoneree course presented shared the stories of five wrongfully convicted people through short documentaries.

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American Equity & Justice Group’s Equity Dashboard

April 14, 2022
American Equity & Justice Group, a Seattle non-profit, presented their Equity Dashboard, which provides transparency to measure equity in the criminal legal system.

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Making An Exoneree: From Wrongful Convictions to Freedom

April 6, 2022
Less than a year after they were released from prison, Keith Washington and Eric Riddick came to Georgetown and reunited with the Georgetown students who helped advocate for their freedom.

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Peter P. Mullen Distinguished Visiting Professorship: Martin Tankleff

Marc 28, 2022
Georgetown honored Martin Tankleff, who co-leads the Making an Exoneree course, as the newest Peter P. Mullen Distinguished Visiting Professor

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2021 Events

Making An Exoneree 2021 Documentary Showcase

Aug. 4, 2021
Students in the Making an Exoneree course premiered their short documentaries about five men who had spent a combined 122 years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit.

Watch the Documentaries

2019 Events

Kim Kardashian Visits the D.C. Jail

July 23, 2019
The PJI Team was excited to welcome Kim Kardashian as our Lecture Series speaker for the Scholars Program at the DC Jail.

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Making An Exoneree 2019 Documentary Showcase

May 1, 2019
The second annual Making an Exoneree premiere was a powerful and moving event that highlighted the life-changing work of 18 Georgetown students.

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Growing Up in Prison: The Future of Juvenile Life Sentences in America

April 23, 2019
In conjunction with Georgetown’s MLK Initiative, the Prisons and Justice Initiative was honored to host an important and timely panel discussion about juvenile life sentences. 

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Inside Voices: The Free Speech Rights of Incarcerated Americans

April 16, 2019
The Free Speech Project and the Prisons and Justice Initiative at Georgetown University were proud to host this major public forum focusing on the free speech rights of incarcerated Americans.

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The Jumpsuit Project

April 11, 2019
The Prisons and Justice Initiative and The Maria & Alberto de la Cruz Art Gallery were pleased to present the unique artistry of Sherrill Roland in The Jumpsuit Project. After spending nearly a year in the DC Jail for a crime for which he was later exonerated, Roland created this performance as an artistic response to his own experience.

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Faculty Seminar Series: Keesha Middlemass

March 19, 2019
he Prisons and Justice Initiative welcomed Professor Keesha Middlemass, Associate Professor of Public Policy in the Department of Political Science at Howard University, for a discussion on the collateral consequences of a felony conviction. She is the author of Convicted and Condemned: The Politics and Policies of Prisoner Reentry (NYU Press, 2017).

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2018 Events

Meek Mill in Conversation with Marc Howard

Nov. 7, 2018
The birth of the #FreeMeekMill movement put a much-needed spotlight on mass incarceration and the probation system, considering Meek Mill has undergone a 10 year probation. In co-sponsorship with the Georgetown University Lecture Fund and The Georgetown Radio, The Prisons and Justice Initiative was excited to welcome Meek to the Hilltop. 

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Valentino Dixon: Golf Art Saved Me, Georgetown Set Me Free

Nov. 1, 2018
The Prisons and Justice Initiative was thrilled to welcome Valentino Dixon to the Georgetown campus for an extraordinary event and celebration of his exoneration and release from prison.

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Jesus Saves: Escaping Gang Violence in El Salvador

Oct. 24, 2018
In El Salvador, gang violence plagues communities. Wars between prominent gangs, such as MS-13 and 18th Street, have exacerbated homicide rates across country. Journalist and Pulitzer Grantee Danny Gold examines how “The Only Way Out Is Through Jesus.”

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The Crisis Facing Immigrant Children and Youth in the United States

Oct. 9, 2018
In a context of increasingly restrictive immigration policies, enhanced enforcement initiatives and limited protections, PJI and the Department of Anthropology brought together a panel of immigration experts—academics, advocates, practitioners, and youth—who all spoke to the intensifying challenges of life for young immigrants in the current moment. 

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Film Screening: “The Sentence”

Sept. 11, 2018
In co-sponsorship with FAMM and the Georgetown Law Center’s Criminal Law Association, PJI hosted our first event of the year with a pre-release screening of the new award-winning HBO documentary, The Sentence. 

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Making An Exoneree Documentary Showcase

April 30, 2018
Students in the Making An Exoneree program presented their documentaries about wrongfully convicted people.

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The Conservative Case for Criminal Justice Reform

April 10, 2018
This panel addressed the potential for this bipartisan coalition to reemerge by focusing on the conservative case for criminal justice reform. 

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Women and Mass Incarceration

March 20, 2018
This panel event featured four remarkable women who addressed the crisis of mass incarceration from a female perspective, based on their personal experiences.

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Faculty Seminar: The Jail Industrial Complex

March 14, 2018
Scholars Mary Katzenstein and Nolan Bennett revisit the concept of the “prison industrial complex” as an investigative tool to examine the growing collaboration between carceral institutions and private corporations at the local level.

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Faculty Seminar: “How Can You Represent Those People?”

Feb. 13, 2018
Criminal defense attorney Abbe Smith shares why she has devoted her entire professional career to defending people most would just as soon banish and forget.

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Kalief Browder and Rikers Island: An American Nightmare

Jan. 29, 2018
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.

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Replica Solitary Confinement Cell Exhibit

Jan. 16-30, 2018
PJI launched a two-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.

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Solitary Confinement and the Threat to Human Dignity

Jan. 16, 2018
The Prisons and Justice Initiative hosted a special panel discussion on solitary confinement. 

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2017 Events

Prison Labor: Reform or Abolish?

Nov. 28, 2017
The Prisons and Justice Initiative and the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor hosted a conversation on America’s system of prison labor.

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Beyond the Sentence: Collateral Consequences of Criminal Convictions

Nov. 15, 2017
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.

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Faculty Seminar: Prisoners of Democracy

Oct. 18, 2017
A conversation with political scholar Michael Leo Owens of Emory University

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The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Why It Matters Today

Oct. 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).

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Beyond 144: Six Returning Citizens

May 2, 2017
PJI and the Prison Reform Project class screened several short inspiring documentaries, each sharing the story of a returning citizen.

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Faculty Seminar: The Promise, Perils, and Politics of Criminal Justice Reform in the Age of Trump

A conversation with University of Pennsylvania scholar Marie Gottschalk.

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Faculty Seminar: Community Conversations About the Police by the Policed

A conversation with Vesla Weaver, a scholar on race, power, and politics.

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Immigration and Community Policing in the Age of Trump

April 5, 2017
PJI hosted a panel of experts to discuss the impact of “crimmigration” on Latino communities. The event was co-sponsored with the Georgetown University Black Law Students Association and the Georgetown University Latin American Law Students Association.

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Charles Neville Concert and Panel Discussion

April 1, 2017
A jazz concert followed by a discussion.

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Faculty Seminar: John Bessler

A conversation with University of Baltimore School of Law professor John Bessler.

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Dialogues on Being Human: The Intersection of Art, Health, and Dignity

Feb. 23, 2017
Georgetown University’s Department of Art and Art History, the Prisons and Justice Initiative, and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law were proud to present Jesse Krimes’ Exhibition of Purgatory. 

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Faculty Seminar: Still Right on Crime? The Future of Criminal Justice Reform Under Trump

Nov. 15, 2017
A conversation with scholars David Dagan and Steven Teles on their book “Prison Break: Why Conservatives Turned Against Mass Incarceration.”

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From Music Exec to Criminal Justice Reformer

Feb. 2, 2017
PJI was honored to host an evening with Jason Flom, an internationally recognized music executive and leader in the criminal justice reform field.

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2016 Events

Faculty Seminar: Crime, Punishment, and the Racialized Future of the American State

Nov. 30, 2016
A conversation with scholar Lisa Miller, a professor of political science at Rutgers University.

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Changing the Lens on African-American Boys

Nov. 17, 2016
Featuring two news films from the award-winning TEACHED series, this event examined the lenses through which society views African-American boys and the role we all have to play in changing them.

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Faculty Seminar: Race, Convict Leasing, and the Rise of the New South

Nov. 3, 2016
A conversation with scholar Megan Ming Francis on her “Crimes of Capitalism” project.

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Adnan’s Story: The Search for Truth and Justice After Serial

Oct. 20, 2016
A conversation with Rabia Chaudry, author of a best-selling book and podcast about the case of Adnan Syed.

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Faculty Seminar: Criminal Justice Contact and Latinos’ Political Participation

Oct. 13, 2016
A conversation with Hannah Walker

“Incarcerating Us” World Premiere and Panel Discussion

Sept. 15, 2016
PJI hosted the world premiere of “Incarcerating US,” a feature-length documentary that exposes America’s prison problem and explores vital criminal justice reforms.

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37th and Jessup: Classmates Divided by Bars, United for Justice

This event highlighted the inspiring life experiences and policy recommendations that emerged from a unique class consisting of students from both Georgetown University and the Jessup Correctional Institution.

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Writing Our Way Out

April 20, 2016
A reading from author David Coogan on his book “Writing Our Way Out: Memoirs from Jail,” which tells the story of his experience teaching a writing course to 10 incarcerated men in the Richmond City Jail.

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Faculty Seminar: Cost Effective Juvenile Justice Reform

April 13, 2016
A conversation with Georgetown psychology professors Rachel Barr and Jennifer Woolard

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“First Degree” Film Screening

April 7, 2016
A screening and discussion on the film “First Degree,” which highlights the power of educational opportunities in U.S. prisons.

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Mr. Smith Goes to Prison

April 5, 2016
A conversation with Jeff Smith on his book “Mr. Smith Goes to Prison: What My Year Behind Bars Taught Me About America’s Prisons and Crisis.”

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The Truth About False Confessions

March 22, 2016
A discussion on the issue of false confessions and the role they play in injustice in the prison system.

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Faculty Seminar: Rethinking Prison Music as Neoliberal Labor

March 16, 2016
A conversation with Georgetown music professor Benjamin Harbert about his work on prison music

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Faculty Seminar: 1924, the Year that Made Hitler

March 2, 2016
A conversation with Harvard scholar Peter Ross Range, presented in partnership with the BMW Center for German and European Studies.

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Faculty Seminar: Dispelling the Myths Surrounding Unaccompanied Undocumented Children in U.S. Immigration Custody

Feb. 17, 2016
A conversation with Georgetown professor Susan Terrio about her book “Whose Child am I? Undocumented, Unaccompanied Children in U.S. Immigration Custody.”

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Reversing the Tide of Mass Incarceration: Prospects for Prison Reform

Feb. 9, 2016
PJI’s first ever event featuring a discussion on prison reform.

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