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Reuben Jonathan Miller with Elizabeth Hinton: Halfway Home

February 17 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


The Midtown Scholar Bookstore is pleased to welcome sociologist Reuben Jonathan Miller as he presents his new book, Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration. Miller will be in conversation with Yale Professor and author Elizabeth Hinton (America on Fire: The Untold History of Police Violence and Black Rebellion Since the 1960s).

This event is free and open to the public. Book sales are encouraged through the Midtown Scholar Bookstore.

About the Book:

Each year, more than half a million Americans are released from prison and join a population of twenty million people who live with a felony record.

Reuben Miller, a chaplain at the Cook County Jail in Chicago and now a sociologist studying mass incarceration, spent years alongside prisoners, ex-prisoners, their friends, and their families to understand the lifelong burden that even a single arrest can entail. What his work revealed is a simple, if overlooked truth: life after incarceration is its own form of prison. The idea that one can serve their debt and return to life as a full-fledge member of society is one of America’s most nefarious myths. Recently released individuals are faced with jobs that are off-limits, apartments that cannot be occupied and votes that cannot be cast.

As The Color of Law exposed about our understanding of housing segregation, Halfway Home shows that the American justice system was not created to rehabilitate. Parole is structured to keep classes of Americans impoverished, unstable, and disenfranchised long after they’ve paid their debt to society.

Informed by Miller’s experience as the son and brother of incarcerated men, captures the stories of the men, women, and communities fighting against a system that is designed for them to fail. It is a poignant and eye-opening call to arms that reveals how laws, rules, and regulations extract a tangible cost not only from those working to rebuild their lives, but also our democracy. As Miller searchingly explores, America must acknowledge and value the lives of its formerly imprisoned citizens.

About the Author:

Reuben Jonathan Miller is a sociologist, criminologist and a social worker who teaches at the University of Chicago in the School of Social Service Administration where he studies and writes about race, democracy, and the social life of the city. He has been a member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton New Jersey, a fellow at the New America Foundation 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 Southside.

Elizabeth Hinton is associate professor of history and African American studies at Yale University and a professor of law at Yale Law School. The author of From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime, she lives in New Haven, Connecticut.


February 17
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


Midtown Scholar Bookstore
(717) 236-1680


Midtown Scholar Bookstore
1302 N. 3rd Street
Harrisburg, 17102
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(717) 236-1680