Just Societies LIVE: Columbia Professors Bruce Western & Damon Phillips

March 5, 2019 12:00 pm - 12:30 pm

The March 5 episode is the first of several Just Societies Facebook Live programs featuring faculty from Columbia School of Social Work and schools across Columbia University.

Columbia professors Bruce Western and Damon Phillips will be interviewed by Michael Friedman on the topic of reintegrating into society after prison.

About This Week’s Guests

In the era of mass incarceration, over 600,000 people are released from federal or state prison each year in the US, with many returning to chaotic living environments rife with violence. How do former prisoners navigate reentering society? Should our society be more proactive in assisting them?

In his latest book, Homeward: Life in the Year After Prison, Bruce Western, Bryce Professor of Sociology and Social Justice and co-director of the Justice Lab at Columbia University, examines the tumultuous first year after release from prison. Drawing from in-depth interviews with over a hundred individuals, he describes the lives of the formerly incarcerated and demonstrates how poverty, racial inequality, and failures of social support trap many in a cycle of vulnerability despite their efforts to rejoin society.

Damon Phillips, the Lambert Family Professor of Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School, co-directs Columbia Business School’s Tamer Center for Social Enterprise and is the creator of the REAP (ReEntry Acceleration Program) Immersion, a new full-semester course designed to introduce current and future business leaders to the impact of the US criminal justice system on employment and entrepreneurship prospects for formerly incarcerated people.