POSTPONED! Criminal injustice: Mass incarceration and the US prison nation

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PLEASE NOTE: Unfortunately the lecture is postponed indefinitely, as Kathy Boudin is no longer able to travel in May due to a health issue. We hope that the event will take place later in the year, so please add your name to the waitlist if you would like to hear the details when they are available.


With 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prison population, the United States is the leading incarcerator in the world. In America’s so-called ‘justice' system, upwards of 80,000 people are now kept in solitary confinement, life sentences and life without parole are on the increase, and a new generation of ‘super-max’ prisons have been designed to minimize social contact between prisoners, a disproportionate majority of whom are African-American men.

How did this grossly unjust, racist and dehumanising system arise? What kind of economic and political interests keep it in place? What are the consequences for the particular communities most impacted by it, and for the wider American public? And what are the possibilities for its deconstruction?

This year’s annual Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust lecture will be delivered by Columbia University Professor and co-founder of the Center for Justice at Columbia University, U.S. advocate for ending mass incarceration, and former Weather Underground activist Kathy Boudin, with responses from distinguished UK human rights solicitors Gareth Peirce and Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC.

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United Kingdom

Organiser Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust

Organiser of POSTPONED! Criminal injustice: Mass incarceration and the US prison nation

The Trust, founded in 1980 by Norman Melburn, honours the memory of his friend and fellow Marxist, the lawyer Barry Amiel. Subsequent to Melburn’s death in 1991 it was renamed to commemorate both friends and fellow Marxists.

The key objectives of the Trust are to promote the public education, learning and knowledge in all areas of Marxist philosophy, the history of socialism and the working class movement.

As well as running its own projects and research in pursuit of these objectives, the Trust is open to applications for funding from external organisations or individuals who undertake projects with common goals. To find out more about how to apply for funding please contact us via our website www.amielandmelburn.org.uk

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