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Thoughts from a day in a Japanese prison: Paul Leighton at TEDxEMU

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Published on May 1, 2013

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Rethinking Prison and Public Safety

This talk invites people to rethink a system of "warehouse" prisons that is costly and frequently makes inmates worse. It asks, If you found out a neighbor was recently released from prison, what kind of prison would you like it to be? The answer is based on the presenter's visit to a new breed of Japanese rehabilitation center that are a high-tech, public-private partnership that is rehabilitation intensive and strives to be a partner with the community. He concludes that prisons should contribute to public safety and our state should also envision a "model prison for the next 50 years."

Dr Paul Leighton is a Professor of Criminology at Eastern Michigan University. He is the co-author of three books that explore how the criminal justice system contributes to social problems like crime and inequality: The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison (10th ed); Class, Race, Gender & Crime (3rd ed); and Punishment for Sale: Private Prisons, Big Business and the Incarceration Binge. In addition to writing numerous chapters and journal articles, he served on the board of the local domestic violence shelter for six years (including two as president). Paul hopes for a safer and more just society.

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