New Events

"Mass-Incarceration in the United States " 

 Lecture Series

Life Sentences in America: A Key Feature 

of Mass Incarceration

(2) Ashley NellisSenior Research Analyst, The Sentencing Project

February 15th at 7:00 pm (LSBE 118)

Abstract: The United States leads the world in incarceration; our prison population has increased by 500% over the last 40 years, standing at over 2 million people in prisons and jails today. This did not happen overnight. Our current state of mass incarceration is the end product of a series of poorly designed policies that were believed to reduce crime and allay concerns about public safety.  Some of these policies are responsible for the quadrupling of life sentences since 1984. Today, one in 9 people in prison is serving a life sentence. This presentation will discuss the policies and practices that have created the current prison system and explore some of the steps that will be necessary to see significant reform

Dr. Ashley Nellis has an academic and professional background in analyzing criminal justice policies and practice, and has extensive experience in analyzing disparities among youth of color in the juvenile justice system. She leads The Sentencing Project's research and legislative activities in juvenile justice reform and serves on several youth-serving coalitions and working groups in the Washington, D.C. area. She regularly delivers testimony, writes articles and reports, and conducts research. Nellis is the author of A Return to Justice: Rethinking our Approach to Juveniles in the System, which chronicles America’s historical treatment of youth in the justice system and discusses the work that remains in order to reorient the juvenile justice practices toward the original vision. She is actively engaged in federal and state efforts to eliminate life without parole sentences for juveniles and to reconsider lengthy sentences for all prisoners. She received her Ph.D. in Justice, Law and Society from American University’s School of Public Affairs.

This lecture is funded by the: 

"Native Food Rights

 Lecture Series

(2) Winona LaDuke, Founding Director of the White Earth Land 

and Recovery Project (WELRP)

March 17th at 7:00 pm (Bohannon Hall 90)

Winona LaDuke is an Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwe) enrolled member of the Mississippi Band Anishinaabeg who lives and works on the White Earth Reservations. She is also the Executive Director of Honor the Earth, where she works on a national level to advocate, raise public support, and create funding for frontline native environmental groups. In 1994, Winona was nominated by Time magazine as one of America's fifty most promising leaders under forty years of age. She has been awarded the Thomas Merton Award in 1996, the BIHA Community Service Award in 1997, the Ann Bancroft Award for Women's Leadership Fellowship, and the Reebok Human Rights Award, with which she began the WELRP. She is a former board member of Greenpeace USA and serves, as co-chair of the Indigenous Women's Network, a North American and Pacific indigenous women's organization. In 1998, Ms. Magazine named her Woman of the Year for her work with Honor the Earth. She has written extensively on Native American and environmental issues. Her books include: The Militarization of Indian Country (2011), Recovering the Sacred: the Power of Naming and Claiming (2005), the non-fiction book All our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life (1999, South End Press), and a novel - Last Standing Woman (1997, Voyager Press).
This Center event is cosponsored with UMD’s -- American Indian Studies (AIS), Geography, Urban, Environment and Sustainability Studies (GUESS), and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS)

This event is funded by the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation and the UMD Commission for Women.

"Native Food Rights

 Lecture Series

(3) A-dae Romero-BrionesFirst Nations Development Institute

April 5th -- (location/time -- TBD)

Ms. Romero-Briones works as Director of Community Development 

for Pulama Lana’i.  She is also a contributor to First Nations Development Institute, and is also the co-founder and former Executive Director of non-profit for Cochiti Pueblo, New Mexico.

Before her work as a Food & Agricultural Consultant, Ms. Romero-Briones worked for the University of Arkansas’ Indigenous Food and Agricultural Intuitive while she was getting her LLM in Food and Agricultural Law.  Her thesis was on the Food Safety Modernization Act as it applied to the Federal Tribal relationship. She wrote extensively about Food Safety, the Produce Safety rule and tribes, and the protection of tribal traditional foods.

A U.S. Fulbright Scholar, Ms. Romero-Briones received her 

Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from Princeton University, and received a Law Doctorate from Arizona State University’s College of Law, and LLM in Food and Agricultural Law from the University of Arkansas. She currently sits on several boards, including the Lana’i Elementary and High School Foundation.

This Center event is cosponsored with UMD’s department of American Indian Studies (AIS) 

This event is funded by the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation

"Perverse Incentives in Law Enforcement

 Lecture Series

(1) Dick Carpenter, Director of Strategic Research, Institute for Justice

March 30th at 7:00 pm (SCC 120)

Dr. Dick Carpenter serves as a director of strategic research for the Institute for Justice. He works with IJ staff and attorneys to define, implement and manage social science research related to the Institute’s mission.

As an experienced researcher, Carpenter has presented and published on a variety of topics ranging from educational policy to the dynamics of presidential elections. His work has appeared in academic journals, such as Economic Development Quarterly, Economic Affairs,The Forum, Fordham Urban Law Journal, International Journal of Ethics, Education and Urban
, Urban Studies, Regulation and Governance, and magazines, such as Regulation, Phi Delta Kappan and the American School Board Journal. Moreover, the results of his research have been quoted in newspapers such as the New York TimesWashington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.

His research for IJ has resulted in reports such as Disclosure costs: Unintended consequences of campaign finance reformLicense to WorkPrivate choice in public programs: How private institutions secure social services for GeorgiansDesigning cartels: How industry insiders cut out competition and Victimizing the Vulnerable: The Demographics of Eminent Domain Abuse.

Before working with IJ, Dick worked as a school teacher and principal, public policy analyst and faculty member at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, where he currently serves as a professor. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado.

Funding for this project was provided by the Institute for Humane Studies through a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation.  

"Mass-Incarceration in the United States " 

 Lecture Series

(3) Steven Raphael,  UC-Berkeley

March 1st at 6:00 pm (LSci 185)

Steven Raphael is Professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. His research focuses on the economics of low-wage labor markets, housing, and the economics of crime and corrections.  His most recent research focuses on the social consequences of the large increases in U.S. incarceration rates.  Raphael also works on immigration policy, research questions pertaining to various aspects of racial inequality, the economics of labor unions, social insurance policies, homelessness, and low-income housing.  Raphael is the author (with Michael Stoll) of Why Are so Many Americans in Prison?(published by the Russell Sage Foundation Press) and The New Scarlet Letter? Negotiating the U.S. Labor Market with a Criminal Record (published by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research).  He is also editor in chief of Industrial Relations and a research fellow at the University of Michigan National Poverty Center, the University of Chicago Crime Lab, IZA, Bonn Germany, and the Pubic Policy Institute of California.  Raphael holds a Ph.D. in economics from UC Berkeley.

This lecture is funded by the: 

"Moral Injury"

Duane L. Cady,  Hamline University

April 22nd at 6:00 pm (SCC 120)

Duane L. Cady  has been teaching at Hamline for forty years and has been recognized for his teaching with the Grimes Award at Hamline (1999) and was United Methodist Foundation Educator of the Year (2005).  He is author of From Warism to Pacifism: A Moral Continuum (1989; 2nd ed. 2010), Moral Vision: How Everyday Life Shapes Ethical Thinking (2005), co-author of Humanitarian Intervention: Just War vs. Pacifism (1996), and co-editor of three anthologies.  He has published more than fifty articles in professional journals on the history of philosophy, ethics, and nonviolence.  Cady was a Visiting Scholar at Westminster College, Oxford, England (1988), Visiting Professor at Trier University, Germany (2004), and served six years on the National Council of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR).  He was President of both the Minnesota Philosophical Society (1981) and Concerned Philosophers for Peace (1991).  Professor Cady was honored to give the Hanna Lectures in Philosophy on "Pluralism and Moral Progress" in 2012.

"Perverse Incentives in Law Enforcement

 Lecture Series

(2) Erik Luna, Foundation Professor of Law, Arizona State 


April 29th (location/time -- TBD)

Erik Luna teaches and writes primarily in the areas of criminal law and procedure. He graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern California and received his J.D. with honors from Stanford Law School. Upon graduation, Luna was a prosecutor in the San Diego District Attorney’s Office and a fellow and lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School. Luna has served as the senior Fulbright Scholar to New Zealand, where he taught at Victoria University Law School (Wellington, NZ) and conducted research on sentencing alternatives. He has also been a visiting scholar with the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law (Freiburg, DE), a visiting professor with the Cuban Society of Penal Sciences (Havana, CU), a visiting professional in the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (The Hague, NL), and a research fellow with the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Bonn, DE). Prior to coming to ASU, Luna was the Sydney and Frances Lewis Professor of Law at Washington and Lee University, and before that, he was the Hugh B. Brown Professor of Law at the University of Utah. Among other professional affiliations, he is an adjunct scholar with the Cato Institute and a member of the American Law Institute. He has testified before Congress and the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and his commentary has appeared in print and broadcast media (e.g., The New York Times, The Economist, and National Public Radio).

Funding for this project was provided by the Institute for Humane Studies through a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation.  

"Perverse Incentives in Law Enforcement

 Lecture Series

(3) Jeffrey Smith, Assistant Professor of Politics and Advocacy, The New School

April 15th (location/time -- TBD)

Jeff Smith is Assistant Professor of Politics and Advocacy at Milano. Jeff, who has also taught at Washington University and Dartmouth College, teaches and researches political campaigns, urban political economy, policy advocacy, and the legislative process. At Washington University, he received the Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence.

Jeff served in the Missouri Senate from 2006-2009, representing St. Louis City, where he co-founded a group of charter schools called the Confluence Academies. He has written two books as well an an e-book: Trading Places, his Ph.D. thesis on U.S. partisan realignment from 1975-2004, Mr. Smith Goes to Prison (St. Martin's, 2015), a narrative nonfiction account of his time in prison, and Ferguson in Black and White, an historical analysis of the roots of Ferguson, Missouri's unrest. His original research and book reviews have been published in various political science journals, including Political Research Quarterly, Political Science Quarterly, and The Forum

Jeff frequently appears on MSNBC and has been profiled by NPR’s This American LifeHarper’sThe New Republic, and other periodicals. He addresses audiences of public officials on ethics in politics, and his TED talk on prison entrepreneurship has been viewed over a million times. His op-eds have been published by The New York Times, The New Republic,, The AtlanticInc.National JournalSalon,Politico Magazine, New York Magazine, Buzzfeed, and the Chicago Tribune. The film Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?, which was short-listed for an Academy Award, chronicled his youth-powered grass-roots congressional campaign. He currently serves on the national advisory boards of the Prison Entrepreneurship Program and American Prison Data Systems.

Funding for this project was provided by the Institute for Humane Studies through a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation.  

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