Upcoming Event

Premal Dharia at Harvard Book Store


Dismantling Mass Incarceration: A Handbook for Change 

in conversation with Andrew Manuel Crespo


September 10, 2024
7:00 PM ET


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


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store and Inquest welcome Premal Dharia—executive director of the Institute to End Mass Incarceration at Harvard Law School—for a discussion of her new book Dismantling Mass Incarceration: A Handbook for Change. She will be joined in conversation by Andrew Manuel Crespo—Morris Wasserstein Public Interest Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

Premal will be donating a portion of the proceeds from book sales at the event to Inquest to support its work amplifying incarcerated writers. 

About Dismantling Mass Incarceration

In recent years, a searching national conversation has called attention to the social and racial injustices that define America’s criminal system. The incarceration of vast numbers of people, and the punitive treatment of African Americans in particular, are targets of widespread criticism. But despite the election of progressive prosecutors and the passage of reform legislation, the system remains very much intact. How can the damage and depredations of the carceral state be undone?

In this pathbreaking reader, three of the nation’s leading advocates—Premal Dharia, James Forman Jr., and Maria Hawilo—provide us with tools to move from despair and critique to hope and action. Dismantling Mass Incarceration surveys new approaches to confronting the carceral state in all its guises, exploring ways that police, prosecutors, public defenders, judges, prisons, and even life after prison can be radically reconceived. The book captures debates about the comparative merits of reforming or abolishing prisons and police forces, and introduces a host of bold but practical interventions. The contributors range from noted figures such as Angela Davis, Clint Smith, and Larry Krasner to local organizers, judges, and people currently or formerly incarcerated. The result is an invaluable guide for students, activists, and anyone who wishes to understand mass incarceration—and hasten its end.

Masking Policy

Masks are encouraged but not required for this event.

Andrew Manuel Crespo
Andrew Manuel Crespo

Andrew Manuel Crespo

Andrew Manuel Crespo is the Morris Wasserstein Public Interest Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where he teaches criminal law and procedure and serves as the Executive Faculty Director of the Institute to End Mass Incarceration. Professor Crespo’s research and scholarly expertise center on the institutional design, legal frameworks, and power structures of the American penal system, and on the relationship between lawyers, organizers, and social movement actors in effecting transformational change. His scholarship has been honored by the Association of American Law Schools and profiled in The New York Times, with his leading articles appearing in the Harvard Law Review, the Columbia Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal. Together with John Rappaport, he is the author of Criminal Law and the American Penal System, an innovative forthcoming casebook that recasts the traditionally required criminal law course as a class about the role law and lawyers have played in building and sustaining American mass incarceration.

Premal Dharia
Premal Dharia

Premal Dharia

Premal Dharia is the executive director of the Institute to End Mass Incarceration at Harvard Law School and is coeditor in chief of Inquest. She has written for The Washington Post, CNN, Slate and other publications.

Photo Credit: Prescott Loveland

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.

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:

  • Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
  • Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
  • Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.

Ordering a signed book by phone:

  • Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
  • If you are requesting a personalized inscription and/or requesting your book be shipped, we'll need to take down credit card information. If you are planning to pick up the signed book in the store, you can pay on pick-up.


Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.

Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!

Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.

I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.

More questions? Give us a call!

Co-Sponsored by Inquest

Inquest is a forum for advancing bold ideas to end mass incarceration in the United States. Here, you will find original, insightful work by thinkers and doers across a broad range of experience and expertise, united in the belief that mass incarceration is an epic injustice that can and must urgently end.

Our authors include leading and new voices across fields—from activism and community organizing to law and policy, academia, journalism, and public health. Drawing on their lived experience and their accumulated wisdom, they come here to share ideas, narratives, and analyses that boldly explore the causes and consequences of mass incarceration and that provoke rigorous discussion—all aimed at driving thoughtful action.

Our readers come to learn, to think, to challenge themselves, and to join in the work. We see our core audience as those who are actively engaged in the hard and necessary project of decarceration. We understand them to share a common set of values and also a common sense of curiosity, along with a desire to learn from and to be pushed by their peers. Understanding our core audience this way, we do not set out to persuade our readers that mass incarceration exists or that it represents an unconscionable instantiation of racial injustice and oppression. Likewise, while we aim to spark a conversation that is welcoming and accessible to newcomers and beginners, we do not aim primarily to explain the basic contours of mass incarceration to those encountering it for the first time.

Rather, our mission is to create a space where the voices of those doing the thinking and the work—the people closest to the problem, including those directly impacted by mass incarceration—can come together to share ideas and be heard as they pursue bold solutions.

General Info
(617) 661-1515

Media Inquiries

Accessibility Inquiries

Classic Totes

Tote bags and pouches
in a variety of styles,
sizes, and designs
, plus mugs, bookmarks, and more!

Learn More »

Shipping & Pickup

We ship anywhere in the U.S. and orders of $75+ ship free via media mail!

Learn More »

Noteworthy Signed Books: Join the Club!

Join our Signed First Edition Club (or give a gift subscription) for a signed book of great literary merit, delivered to you monthly.

Learn More »