Decarcerating America

The Modern History Colloquium presents:


“Decarcerating America: Efforts to Close Prisons and Mental Hospitals”


A talk with

Anne Parsons, Assistant Professor of History at UNC-Greensboro and former Youth Prisons Monitor at the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana


Shaena Johnson, LGBTQ Racial Justice Fund Program Officer at Astrea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, former LGBTQ Program Coordinator at the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana,and former Co-Director of BreakOUT!


Thursday, Jan 24

3:30 pm

Hill Memorial Library


Today, the United States makes up about 5% of the world's population, but holds over 20% of the world's prisoners. In response to this crisis, people across the political spectrum are working to decarcerate prisons. Anne Parsons, author of From Asylum to Prison (UNC Press, 2018), will discuss this movement and the lessons that we can learn from her research on the mid to late 20thcentury closure of state mental hospitals in the US. Shaena Johnson, a leading expert on conditions of confinement, will share her perspective on decarceration and the economic and psycho-social effect of mass incarceration on queer and trans people of color, based on her research with BreakOUT!, Research Action Design, and Forward Together. 


For more information, please contact Catherine Jacquet at