THANK YOU FOR JOINING US FOR MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY 2023: A DAY OF UNDERSTANDING AND SERVICE -
Mass Incarceration, Returning Citizens, and a Vision Forward
We hope you enjoyed our conversation with 2022 MacArthur Fellow, sociologist, criminologist, and author of Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration - Dr. Reuben Jonathan Miller, whose work on mass incarceration and its afterlife are important contributions to the larger conversations on race and inequity that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy inspires. The virtual webinar conversation on Monday, January 19 with Dr. Miller was moderated by Dr. Kimberlee Guenther, chief impact officer for United Way of Metro Chicago.
Read Dr. Reuben Jonathan Miller’s Full Bio
Dr. Reuben Jonathan Miller
MacArthur Fellow, Sociologist, and Author
By Dr. Reuben Jonathan Miller
Dr. Reuben Jonathan Miller
2022 MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellow and University of Chicago sociologist Dr. Reuben Miller is the author of Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration, a “persuasive and essential” (Dr. Matthew Desmond, Evicted) book that offers a “stunning, and deeply painful reckoning with our nation’s carceral system” (Heather Ann Thompson). As a chaplain at the Cook County Jail in Chicago and as a sociologist studying mass incarceration, he has spent years alongside prisoners, formerly incarcerated people, their families, and their friends to understand the lifelong burden that even a single arrest can entail. What his work reveals is a simple, if overlooked truth: life after incarceration is its own form of prison.
An “indictment of the criminal justice system [that] should trouble the soul of the nation” (NPR), Halfway Home is a call to action that reveals how laws, rules, and regulations extract a tangible cost not only from those working to rebuild their lives, but also our democracy—and in the process get us no closer to justice or rehabilitation. Miller demands America must acknowledge and value the lives of its formerly imprisoned citizens – both in our policies and in our ethos.The book was a finalist for the 2022 PEN America Literary Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and won two Prose Awards (for Cultural Anthropology and Sociology, and Excellence in Social Science) from the Association of American Publishers, and the Law and Society Association’s Herbert Jacob Book Prize.
Miller is an associate professor at the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy and Practice and a research professor at the American Bar Foundation. Before coming to Chicago, he was an assistant professor of social work at the University of Michigan, a faculty affiliate with the Populations Studies Center, the Program for Research on Black Americans, and the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies. He has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey; a fellow at New America and the Rockefeller Foundation; and a visiting scholar at the University of Texas at Austin and Dartmouth College. A native son of Chicago, he lives with his wife and children on the city’s South Side.
For more information on Reuben Jonathan Miller, please visit him on Twitter or at https://crownschool.uchicago.edu/directory/reuben-jonathan-miller.
You can also view his TED Talk to learn more about his work.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Day event is part of United Way of Metro Chicago’s Equity in Action programming. Equity in Action is generously supported by founding sponsor Winston & Strawn LLP.
Service Project Details
Following our virtual event, we encourage you to get out and serve your community! You can find volunteer opportunities through United Way’s volunteer portal and Chicago Cares. Visit one or both of these sites to find a project today in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
United Way's Volunteer Portal