Distinguished Visiting Scholar to speak on mass incarceration and its racial and economic impact

Professor John Major Eason, whose expertise includes the criminal justice system and race relations, will present on “The Racial and Economic Underpinnings – and Impact – of Mass Incarceration.”

photo of Eason.

Eason, an associate professor in the department of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was recently invited to join the University at Buffalo’s Center for Diversity Innovation as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar and a member of the 2020-21 Scholar Cohort.

His presentation, hosted by the UB Law Alumni Association and UB School of Law, will be held via Zoom on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The program is being sponsored in conjunction with the Minority Bar Association of WNY, the Bar Association of Erie County, and the WNY Chapter of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York.

Questions and answers will be moderated by Associate Professor Alexandra Harrington, Director of the Criminal Justice Advocacy Clinic at UB School of Law.

“Our country confines more than 2 million people in prisons and jails nationwide,” Harrington says. “People living in poverty and people of color are disproportionately incarcerated. Professor Eason’s research can help us understand the reasons for these disparities, the role they play in mass incarceration, and the profound consequences they have on communities.”

Professor Eason is the director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Justice Lab, and author of the book, Big House on the Prairie. He holds a Ph.D. from the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. A native of Evanston, Illinois, he received a B.A. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a M.P.P. from the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.

Before entering graduate school, he was a church-based community organizer focusing on housing and criminal justice issues. He also served as a political organizer for then Illinois State Senator Barack Obama. His research interest challenges existing models and develops new theories of community, health, race, punishment, and rural/urban process.