Keramet Reiter

discusses

23/7:
Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement

This event includes a book signing

Date

Jan
9
Monday
January 9, 2017
8:00 PM

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes former Human Rights Watch associate KERAMET REITER—assistant professor in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California, Irvine—for a discussion of her book, 23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement.

About 23/7

Originally meant to be brief and exceptional, solitary confinement in U.S. prisons has become long-term and common. Prisoners spend twenty-three hours a day in featureless cells, with no visitors or human contact for years on end, and they are held entirely at administrators’ discretion. Keramet Reiter tells the history of one “supermax,” California’s Pelican Bay State Prison, whose extreme conditions recently sparked a statewide hunger strike by 30,000 prisoners. This book describes how Pelican Bay was created without legislative oversight, in fearful response to 1970s radicals; how easily prisoners slip into solitary; and the mental havoc and social costs of years and decades in isolation. The product of fifteen years of research in and about prisons, this book provides essential background to a subject now drawing national attention.

Praise

"Engaging, meticulously researched, and deeply disturbing, 23/7 is more than a history of Pelican Bay Prison. Keramet Reiter opens a window onto the secretive decisions that produced the contemporary supermax and sensitively explores the harmful results. This remarkable book is essential reading for anyone concerned about prisons in the United States." —Lorna A. Rhodes, author of Total Confinement: Madness and Reason in the Maximum Security Prison

"Keramet Reiter uncovers the history and consequences of California's unfortunate modern experiment with solitary confinement—a tale of public policy gone awry through ignorance, callousness, cruelty and self interest, inflicting untold psychological pain and emotional misery on thousands." —Jamie Fellner, Human Rights Watch

“A chilling portrait of America's ‘securest and most punitive’ prisons. . . . [Reiter’s] stories of the psychological impact of isolation—and the experiences of released Supermax prisoners—are both disturbing and moving. Essential reading in the ongoing national re-examination of mass incarceration.” —Kirkus, starred review

Keramet Reiter
Keramet Reiter

Keramet Reiter

Keramet Reiter, assistant professor in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society and at the School of Law at the University of California, Irvine, has been an associate at Human Rights Watch and testified about the impacts of solitary confinement before state and federal legislators. She first became interested in prisons as a volunteer tutor to prisoners in Massachusetts while an undergraduate at Harvard. She lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Photo credit: Kirsten Lara Getchell

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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