‘Unlocking America: How to Change a Broken Prison System’


Authors Maya Schenwar and Crystal T. Laura will explore the impact of prison on their families and advocate for sweeping change to the criminal justice system in "Unlocking America: How to Change a Broken Prison System" 7 p.m. Monday, March 7, at the Evanston Public Library.

Schenwar will discuss her recent book "Locked Down, Locked Out: Why Prison Doesn't Work and How We Can Do Better," and Laura will discuss her book "Being Bad: My Baby Brother and the School-to-Prison Pipeline."

A Q&A will follow the readings, and copies of both books will be available to purchase courtesy of Bookends & Beginnings.  This program is co-sponsored by Chicago Books to Women in Prison and Cabrini Green Legal Aid.

 Register online or by calling (847) 448-8620 to guarantee your seat.   

Schenwar is editor-in-chief of Truthout, an independent social justice news website.  She has also written about the prison-industrial complex for the New York Times, The Guardian, and Ms. Magazine.  In addition, she was the recipient of a Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Chi Award and a Lannan Residency Fellowship for her writing on prisons.

Laura is an assistant prrofessor of education at Chicago State University and co-director of CSU's Center of Urban Research and Education where she provides training to Chicago Public School teachers. 

Chicago Books to Women in Prison is a volunteer collective that distributes paperback books free of charge to people incarcerated in women’s prisons nationwide. They are dedicated to offering women behind bars the opportunity for self-empowerment, education, and entertainment that reading provides.

Cabrini Green Legal Aid provides pro bono criminal and civil legal services, integrated with social work support, to individuals facing barriers stemming from an encounter with the criminal justice system.

Editors’ Picks