Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration

On May 3rd, 2021, IAHR had the honor of interviewing Dr. Reuben Jonathan Miller, author of the book Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration. Dr. Reuben Jonathan Miller is an Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice. His research examines life at the intersections of race, poverty, crime control, and social welfare policy. His new book, Halfway Home: Race, Punishment and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration, is based on 15 years of research and practice with currently and formerly incarcerated men, women, their families, partners, and friends. Dr. Miller has conducted fieldwork in Chicago, Detroit, and New York City, examining how law, policy, and emergent practices of state and third-party supervision changed the contours of citizenship, activism, community, and family life for poor black Americans and the urban poor more broadly.

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Waiting for An Echo: The Madness of American Incarceration by Christine Montross

On November 10th, 2020, IAHR kicked off its Virtual Book Club by interviewing Dr. Christine Montross, the author of the book "Waiting for an Echo: The Madness of American Incarceration" Dr. Christine Montross has spent her career treating the most severely ill psychiatric patients. Several years ago, she set out to investigate why so many of her patients got caught up in the legal system when discharged from her care--and what happened to them therein. The stark world of American prisons is shocking for all who enter it. But Dr. Montross's expertise--the mind in crisis--allowed her to reckon with the human stories behind the bars.

Christine Elaine Montross is an American medical doctor and writer. First a published poet and a high school teacher, she later took up medical studies and became an assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University's Alpert Medical School. She is the recipient of a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship.

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The Torture Letters by Laurence Ralph

On October 20th, 2020, IAHR had the honor of interviewing Professor Laurence Ralph, the author of "The Torture Letters." For more than fifty years, police officers who vowed to protect and serve have instead beaten, electrocuted, suffocated, and raped hundreds---perhaps---thousands of Chicago residents. In The Torture Letters, Laurence Ralph chronicles this history, the burgeoning activist movement against police violence, and the American public's complicity in perpetuating torture at home and abroad. Writing meditations on racism in the form of letters, Prof. Ralph offers a collection of open letters written to protestors, victims, students, and others.

Through these questioning, engaging letters, Prof. Ralph bears witness to the violence that began in Chicago's Area Two and follows the city's networks of torture to the War on Terror. Along the way, he amplifies the voices of torture victims who are still with us and lends a voice to those long dead. The Torture Letters is an indictment of police violence and a fierce challenge to all Americans to demand an end to the systems that support it. (From the book's jacket with a few additions). Laurence Ralph is a professor of anthropology at Princeton University. He is the author of Renegade Dreams: Living with Injury in Gangland Chicago, published by the University of Chicago Press.

Watch the interview below now!