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UW Center for Human Rights – Quarterly Newsletter – Winter 2015

March 6, 2015

CHR & LSJ Launch New Project

Rethinking Punishment: Human Rights in an Age of Mass Incarceration

The United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, a reality that often escapes serious, widespread consideration. This new project works to enhance public understanding of the fiscal, social and moral costs of our unprecedented imprisonment boom. A joint effort of the Center for Human Rights and the Law, Societies, and Justice ProgramRethinking Punishment, will integrate teaching, research and advocacy to enable students and faculty to collaborate on projects to stimulate new thinking about punishment policy in Washington State and the United States as a whole.  Professors Katherine Beckett and Steve Herbert (pictured below) are leading this interdisciplinary initiative.
Prof. Katherine Beckett, UWCHR Steering CommitteeSteve HerbertOne aspect of this initiative includes “Stories of Hope and Redemption,” in which the life stories of people who served, or are serving, long prison sentences will be captured and shared. These stories will provide an opportunity for viewers and listeners to learn that people, even those who committed serious crimes, can transform themselves and forge productive and meaningful lives once released. Shedding light on the process of transformation will help counter the popular perception that those convicted of crimes—and especially crimes of violence—are irredeemable. In a collaboration with the University of British Columbia, the first radio story of hope and redemption “Superpredators Revisited,” is now available via Cited podcast.  Read a UW Today article about the radio documentary stories here. A special thanks to our participants and to Robert “Sam” Fenn and Gordon Katic for their hard work on these stories. […]

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