Eason to speak on mass incarceration

Published October 28, 2020

John Major Eason, an expert on the criminal justice system and race relations, will discuss “The Racial and Economic Underpinnings — and Impact — of Mass Incarceration” at a Zoom presentation on Nov. 5 hosted by the UB Law Alumni Association and UB School of Law.

Eason, associate professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar and member of the 2020-21 Scholar Cohort at UB’s Center for Diversity Innovation.

Eason’s presentation will take place from 6-7 p.m. The program is being sponsored in conjunction with the Minority Bar Association of WNY, the Bar Association of Erie County and the WNY Chapter of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York. Register online to attand.

The question-and-answer session will be moderated by Alexandra Harrington, associate professor and director of the Criminal Justice Advocacy Clinic at the School of Law.

“Our country confines more than 2 million people in prisons and jails nationwide,” Harrington says. “People living in poverty and people of color are disproportionately incarcerated. Professor Eason’s research can help us understand the reasons for these disparities, the role they play in mass incarceration and the profound consequences they have on communities.”

Eason is the director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Justice Lab, and author of the book “Big House on the Prairie.” He holds a PhD from the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. A native of Evanston, Illinois, he received a BA in urban and regional planning from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a MPP from the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.

Before entering graduate school, he was a church-based community organizer focusing on housing and criminal justice issues. He also served as a political organizer for then Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama. His research challenges existing models and develops new theories of community, health, race, punishment and rural/urban process.

Questions regarding the program should be directed to the UB Law Alumni Office.