Beloit College Magazine

Beloit College Magazine

Spring 2018 (May 16, 2018)

Law and Justice

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May 15, 2018

[Sp18] Steven W. Hawkins
Photo by: Amanda Reseburg.

Social justice leader, litigator, and former executive director of Amnesty International USA Steven W. Hawkins held Beloit’s 2017-18 Weissberg Chair in International Studies. Hawkins visited classes and presented talks about the U.S. criminal justice system and how it disproportionately targets minorities and the economically disadvantaged. “We live in a period of mass incarceration,” Hawkins said. “And we are the leading jailer in the world.” Among the facts Hawkins shared:

  • 7 million people are incarcerated worldwide
  • 25% of all prisoners worldwide are jailed in the U.S.
  • Since 1980, U.S. spending on prisons has multiplied by 300%
  • U.S. spending on prisons exceeds spending on education
  • The state of Texas has become a model of prison reform in the U.S.

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