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Oct. 12, 2017 | Mass Incarceration and Violence


Mass Incarceration and Violence: Are We Overpunishing Violent Offenders?
Fordham University Center for Ethics Education in collaboration with The Center for the Study of Human Flourishing at The King’s College.

Thursday, October 12, 2017 | 7 pm
McNally Amphitheater | Fordham University, Lincoln Center Campus

For more information, please contact Center for Ethics Education Academic Director Bryan Pilkington at or RSVP.


Nearly 2.3 million men and women are currently incarcerated in America’s jails and prisons, 88% of which are in state prisons. According recent data, approximately 53% of all state prisoners are in prison for violent offenses. Reducing prison populations in the future will require that we reconceptualize why and how we prosecute violence.

Join us at the Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus on Thursday, October 12 to hear an exclusive conversation among America’s leading criminal justice professors—Douglas Husak, Professor of Philosophy and Law at Rutgers University and Barry Latzer is Emeritus Professor of Criminal Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY—on the facts of the national prison population and new solutions for prosecuting and sentencing violent offenders.


Brett Dignam, Clinical Professor of Law at Columbia Law School

Douglas Husak, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University

Barry Latzer, Emeritus Professor of Criminal Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY; former member of the Doctoral Faculty in Criminal Justice at the CUNY Graduate School and University Center


Bryan Pilkington, Director of Academic Programs at the Center for Ethics Education at Fordham University

Anthony B. Bradley, Associate Professor of Religious Studies; Program Chair, Religious and Theological Studies; Director, Center For The Study of Human Flourishing at The King’s College



6:00 PM – Reception begins with hors d’evours and beverages.
7:15 PM – Discussion begins.
8:00 PM – Q&A with panelists begins.
8:30 PM – Discussion concludes. Hors d’evours and beverages resume.
9:00 PM – Event concludes.

Visiting Fordham University Lincoln Center

The reception will take place in the Platt Court, located on the first floor of the 140 West 62nd Street entrance.
The panel discussion will take place in the McNally Amphitheater on the ground floor, connected to the Platt Court.
Click here for information about visiting Fordham University Lincoln Center. Professional attire is encouraged at this event.


Brett Dignam, Panelist
Brett Dignam is a Clinical Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. An award-winning teacher, Dignam has supervised students in a broad range of litigation matters. She has designed and overseen workshops conducted by students for prisoners at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Conn. on issues, including immigration, sexual assault, and exhaustion under the Prison Litigation Reform Act.

Dignam came to the Law School following her time at Yale Law School, where she led the Prison Legal Services, Complex Federal Litigation and Supreme Court Advocacy clinics. Before entering the legal academy, Dignam served as a law clerk for the Honorable William H. Orrick, U.S. District Court in San Francisco, CA. She also served as an attorney in the Department of Justice’s criminal appeals and tax enforcement policy section, tax division from 1990 to 1992. Dignam has both a criminal and civil trial and appellate practice in both federal and state courts. As an associate professor at Yale Law School, Dignam taught and supervised students in prison legal services; poverty and HIV issues; landlord and tenant isses; and immigration clinics.

Dignam received her J.D. from the University of Southern California, where she was student director of the USC Prison Law Project and chair of the Hale Moot Court Honors Program. She has a M.A. degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. She received her B.A. from Mount Holyoke College.

Douglas Husak, Panelist
Douglas Husak is the author of over one-hundred scholarly articles and six books, most notably: Ignorance of Law (Oxford, 2016), The Philosophy of Criminal Law (Oxford, 2010), Overcriminalization (Oxford, 2008), and Drugs and Rights (1992). He has been a Visiting Professor at several law schools and philosophy departments and specializes in philosophical issues involving criminal law. He is the current Editor-in-Chief of Criminal Law and Philosophy and a past Editor-in-Chief of Law and Philosophy. Professor Husak holds a Ph.D. and J.D. from Ohio State University and has been at Rutgers since 1977.

Barry Latzer, Panelist
Barry Latzer received a JD from Fordham University (1985) and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (1977). Latzer has devoted the last decade to a major study of the history of violent crime in the United States. His recent book, The Rise and Fall of Violent Crime in America(Encounter Books, 2016), a product of this research, examines the period from 1940 to 2015. Latzer has also published widely on capital punishment and criminal procedure law. His casebook, Death Penalty Cases (Butterworth-Heinemann 2011, co-authored with David McCord), is now in its third edition. He wrote two books on state constitutional criminal procedure: State Constitutional Criminal Law (Clark, Boardman, Callaghan 1995) and State Constitutions and Criminal Justice (Greenwood Press 1991). Professor Latzer briefly served as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn and as appellate counsel for indigent criminal defendants in New York City.

Bryan Pilkington, Moderator
Bryan Pilkington, Ph.D., is Director of Academic Programs at Fordham University’s Center for Ethics Education, where he directs the MA program in Ethics and Society and the minor in Bioethics. Prior to joining Fordham, he taught at Aquinas College and at the University of Notre Dame. His research focuses on questions in moral and political philosophy, in particular on the concept of dignity, and in bioethics, where he is especially interested in questions of conscience, moral responsibility, and the practice of medicine.

Pilkington has published work in bioethics in the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy and Healthcare Ethics Committee Forum, and lectures on practical ethical challenges in medicine for health care professionals. He teaches courses in normative and applied ethics, including courses in ethical theory, medical ethics, business ethics, environmental ethics, and courses in political philosophy.

Anthony B. Bradley, Moderator
|Anthony Bradley, Ph.D., is associate professor of religious studies at The King’s College in New York City where he also serves as director for the Center for the Study of Human Flourishing. Since 2002, Dr. Bradley has been a research fellow at the Acton Institute. Dr. Bradley holds Bachelor of Science in biological sciences from Clemson University, a Master of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary, a Master of Arts in Ethics and Society from Fordham University, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Westminster Theological Seminary. He is currently completing a Master of Arts degree in criminal justice at John Jay College (CUNY). His writings on religious and cultural issues have been published in a variety of journals, including: the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Washington Examiner, Al Jazeera, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Detroit News, Christianity Today, and World Magazine.

Dr. Bradley is called upon by members of the broadcast media for comment on current issues and has appeared on NPR, CNN/Headline News, and Fox News, among others. He studies and writes on issues of race in America, mass incarceration and overcriminalization, youth and family, welfare, education, and ethics. His dissertation explores the intersection of black liberation theology and economics.

His books include: Liberating Black Theology (2010), Black and Tired (2011), The Political Economy of Liberation (2012), Keep Your Head Up (2012), Aliens In The Promised Land (2013), John Rawls and Christian Social Engagement (2014), Black Scholars In White Space (2015), and Something Seems Strange (2016).


The King’s College Center for the Study of Human Flourishing
The Center for the Study of Human Flourishing examines critically and promotes the moral, social, political, economic, and aesthetic practices that lead to human flourishing and advance the common good. Center activities draw upon cross-disciplinary resources that explore the intersections of moral virtue and public life.

Fordham University’s Center for Ethics Education
Fordham University’s Center for Ethics Education was established in 1999 to contribute to Fordham’s commitment to cultivating lifelong habits of critical thinking, moral reflection and articulate expression. Drawing upon the Jesuit traditions of sapientia et doctrina (wisdom and learning) and homines pro aliis (men and women for others) and the rich cultural diversity of New York City, the Center sponsors activities that provide students, faculty, professionals and the public with knowledge and skills to study, inform and shape a just society that nurtures the full-flourishing of all members of the human family.
The Center administers graduate and undergraduate degree programs, offers courses, organizes workshops on professional ethics, develops ethics-related educational curricula, and awards prizes for outstanding work in ethics undertaken by Fordham University students.

The Center houses the Master of Arts in Ethics and Society, which provides students with valuable opportunities to develop moral competence and character, and contribute to community welfare and national policy that advance the common good.


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