Last night, OSI and the Baltimore Museum of Art co-sponsored a panel discussion about mass incarceration inspired the BMA current exhibit, “Slavery, The Prison Industrial Complex: Photographs by Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick,” also co-sponsored by OSI and the BMA, in honor of Sue Cohen, a lifelong supporter of both institutions who passed away last year.
Tara Huffman (above left), director of OSI’s Criminal and Juvenile Justice Program, introduced the discussion. She noted the relevance of Calhoun and McCormick’s work, which documents the disproportionately African-American population at Louisiana’s Angola State Prison, to Maryland: “Blacks are 28% of the state’s population but nearly 70% of those incarcerated in Maryland’s jails and prisons.”
Calhoun and McCormick (top right) discussed their time documenting Angola, noting that both of them had grown up with people who were serving time there and that, as a result, were allowed to intimately document the lives of prisoners in their cell blocks and in the fields where they work for negligible wages. Norris Henderson, a former inmate at Angola and founder of Voice of the Experienced, and Baltimore native Monica Cooper of the Maryland Justice Project (bottom right), an OSI grantee, also joined the panel