The Institute of the Arts and Sciences and The Humanities Institute are pleased to present a poetry reading and conversation with award-winning American poet Reginald Dwayne Betts and renowned social psychologist Craig Haney, moderated by Professor Gina Dent. The event is part of the IAS Visualizing Abolition Series and The Humanities Institute’s yearlong series on Memory.
An American poet, memoirist, and teacher. His work in public defense, his years of advocacy, and Betts’s own experiences as a teenager in maximum security prisons uniquely positions him to speak to the failures of the current criminal justice system and present encouraging ideas for change. Between his work in public defense, his years of advocacy, and Betts’s own experiences as a teenager in maximum security prisons uniquely position him to speak to the failures of the current criminal justice system and present encouraging ideas for change.
A Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, noted for his work on the study of capital punishment and the psychological impact of imprisonment and prison isolation. Haney has published four books and well over a hundred research and law review articles about the harmful psychological effects of incarceration and advocating for fundamental criminal justice reforms. Haney’s research and testimony has been cited in a number of landmark legal cases that changed individual prisons, prison systems, and correctional practices. For example, his testimony about the harmful effects of prison overcrowding in California was central in the United States Supreme Court’s Brown v. Plata (2011) ruling that reduced the state’s prison population by 40,000 persons.