Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration with Reuben Jonathan Miller
Reuben Jonathan Miller’s interest in mass incarceration began as an ethical commitment to “caring for the least of these,” he says, and intensified during his father’s and brother’s experiences behind bars.
Miller spent years working to understand the nature and causes of incarceration – and how the system fails families and all of society once a sentence is complete – by speaking to hundreds of current and former prisoners, particularly his fellow Black men.
The result of that research is Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration, which he discusses with the Library’s Anne Kniggendorf. In the book, Miller explores the idea that even after a person has served out a sentence, he’s never again a full citizen but a “carceral citizen” living in a supervised society.
Many, facing regulations and restrictions barring those with felony records from securing decent housing, wind up experiencing homelessness. Learn more about housing instability, including the scourge of eviction, by visiting the exhibition Evicted, on display at the Central Library through July 17, 2022.
Miller is a professor at the University of Chicago’s Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice and a research professor with the American Bar Foundation.