October 6, 2022

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America's prison system doesn't exactly have a reputation for empathy—but could that change?

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Bill Keller has spent years examining what is possible if prisons focus on preparing the incarcerated to be good citizens when they return to society, which the overwhelming majority will. In his new book, he shows us how we can reform our prisons and why there’s a reason for cautious optimism. Rehabilitation, he argues, is not only an investment in public safety but a moral imperative.

This live conversation featured Bill Keller, founding editor of The Marshall Project, former executive editor of the New York Times, and author of What’s Prison For? Punishment and Rehabilitation in the Age of Mass Incarceration on Thursday, October 6 at 6 p.m. Moderator Jason D. Williamson, executive director of the Center on Race, Inequality and the Law at NYU School of Law, guided the discussion on the complexity of the criminal justice system and explore Keller’s hope for more just and empathetic prisons.


  • Bill Keller, Founding Editor, The Marshall Project; Former Executive Editor, The New York Times; Author, What’s Prison For? Punishment and Rehabilitation in the Age of Mass Incarceration
  • Moderator: Jason D. Williamson, Executive Director, Center on Race, Inequality, and the Law at NYU Law

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