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The University of Southampton
Institute of Criminal Justice Research

Incarceration Nation: How the United States Became the Most Punitive Democracy in the World. Event

16 March 2016
Building 2, Room 3043 Highfield Campus University of Southampton

For more information regarding this event, please email Professor Jenny Fleming at .

Event details

The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. How did this come to be? In contrast to conventional wisdom, Peter K. Enns argues that the rise of mass incarceration in the U.S. reflects a political response to rising public punitiveness. The focus on the public’s attitudes toward crime and punishment not only helps explain the policy positions of Barry Goldwater, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon, but the focus on public opinion helps explain current bipartisan calls for criminal justice reform in the U.S.

Peter Enns
Peter Enns ICJR/PAIR Seminar

Speaker information

Peter Enns ,Cornell University,Peter Enns is Associate Professor in the Department of Government and Executive Director of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at Cornell University. He is also team leader of the Institute for Social Science theme project on the Causes, Consequences, and Future of Mass Incarceration in the United States. His research focuses on public opinion, representation, mass incarceration, and inequality. Peter also teaches courses on quantitative research methods. Peter’s forthcoming book, Incarceration Nation, (Cambridge University Press) explains why the public became more punitive in the 1960s, 70s, 80, and 90s, and how this increasing punitiveness led to the rise of mass incarceration in the United States. Peter received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2007).

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