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"What's Prison For?": Bill Keller's critique of US mass incarceration

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Bill Keller is a Pulitzer Prize-winning former NY Times journalist and the founding editor-in-chief of The Marshall Project, an independent news group that focuses on US criminal justice and prison issues. His new book is published by Columbia University's Columbia Global Reports. (courtesy photo)

Nearly 2 million people are incarcerated in the United States. More than twice that many are in the parole and probation system. Women make up 10% of those who are incarcerated, but they are the fastest growing population in prisons. And the racial disparities in the system are acute. One third of all Black American men will spend some time in jail or in prison.

Today on Midday, a conversation with Bill Keller, a former managing editor and columnist for the NY Times, and the founding editor-in-chief and board member of The Marshall Project, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that reports on the American criminal justice system.

Keller’s new book explores the US system of incarceration, how it compares to other countries, what it costs, and what could be done to improve it. And its title asks a basic and important question: What’s Prison For? Punishment and Rehabilitation in the Age of Mass Incarceration.

Because of COVID precautions, Bill Keller joins us in WYPR's Studio B, while Tom is in the adjacent Studio A.

Bill Keller will be speaking about his book tonight (Tuesday, October 11) at 6pm at the Ivy Bookshop's Back Patio. The Ivy Bookshop is located in North Baltimore at 5928 Falls Road, Baltimore, MD 21209.
Follow the link to register for the free event, to purchase the book and for more event details.

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