Join OSI and the Enoch Pratt Free Library for Writers LIVE with Peter Edelman. Edelman, the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law and Public Policy and the faculty director of the Center on Poverty and Inequality at Georgetown University Law Center will be discussing his book, Not a Crime to Be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America, with Lester Spence, Associate Professor, Political Science and Africana Studies, Johns Hopkins University and Co-Director of the Center for Africana Studies.
In Not a Crime to Be Poor, Edelman shows how not having money has been criminalized in the U.S. Through money bail systems, fees and fines, strictly enforced laws and regulations against behavior including trespassing and public urination that largely affect the homeless, and the substitution of prisons and jails for the mental hospitals that have traditionally served the impoverished, we have effectively made it a crime to be poor.
Edelman connects the dots between these policies and others including school discipline in poor communities, child support policies affecting the poor, public housing ordinances, addiction treatment, and the specter of public benefits fraud to paint a picture of a mean-spirited, retributive system that seals whole communities into inescapable cycles of poverty. He shines a light on lawyers, activists, and policymakers working for a more humane approach.
Edelman is also the author of So Rich, So Poor: Why It’s So Hard. Spence, who joined OSI previously for a Talking about Race event to discuss his most recent book, Knocking the Hustle: Against the Neoliberal Turn in Black Politics is also the author of Stare in the Darkness: The Limits of Hip-hop and Black Politics, a W.E.B DuBois Distinguished Book Award winner.
Book sales provided by the Ivy Bookshop.
Writers LIVE programs are supported in part by The Miss Howard Hubbard Adult Programming Fund.
This is a free event, but registration is requested. Register here.