Book Talk: A Conversation With Reuben Miller on Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration

April 08, 2021

Reuben Miller, a chaplain at the Cook County Jail in Chicago and now a sociologist studying mass incarceration, will discuss his new and acclaimed book Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration on Thursday, April 8 at 5:30 p.m. ET with The Reverend Vivian Nixon in a conversation moderated by Bruce Western. 

Praised as a “powerful book” (New York Times) and “seminal work” (NPR), Miller describes incarceration’s “afterlife” — how a single arrest can follow a person “like a ghost.” Halfway Home is based on 15 years of research and practice with currently and formerly incarcerated men, women, their families, partners, and friends, weaving their stories into a “bracing account [that] makes clear just how high the deck is stacked against the formerly incarcerated." (Publishers Weekly)

Informed by Miller’s experience as the son and brother of incarcerated men, Halfway Home is a poignant and eye-opening call to arms that reveals how laws, rules, and regulations extract a tangible cost not only from those working to rebuild their lives, but also our democracy. As Miller concludes, America must acknowledge and value the lives of its formerly imprisoned citizens.

Reuben Jonathan Miller is a sociologist, criminologist and a social worker who teaches at the University of Chicago in the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy and Practice. He studies and writes about race, democracy, and the social life of the city.