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Mass Incarceration and Justice Panel

About the Event

Monday, October 4, 2021 at 7 p.m.
McGuire Hall and via Zoom Webinar

The U.S. leads the world in total number of incarcerated people. In 2020, almost 2.3 million adults and juveniles were imprisoned. Over the past forty years, incarceration rates in the U.S. have increased 500 percent, and Black, Indigenous, and people of color suffer disproportionately from racist structures perpetuating this trend. Biased judicial systems and economic structures that commodify Black and brown bodies through prison labor contribute to this injustice. Baltimore is no exception to this inequity. The city has an incarceration rate that is three times higher than the rest of Maryland. And high recidivism contributes to Baltimore’s cycle of poverty. 

In response to prison injustice, Pope Francis stated, “It is easier and more comfortable to suppress than to educate, to deny the injustice present in society and to create these spaces for shutting off transgressors into oblivion than to offer equal opportunities for development to all citizens.” How can Loyola address unjust mass incarceration policies? And how can we as a Jesuit, Catholic university anchored in Baltimore, support community partners who are committed to this work? Come hear from people who have experienced prison injustice and discuss how we may contribute to positive change in Baltimore. 

Co-sponsored by Loyola's Commitment to Justice Committee, Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Messina, Common Text, and Campus Ministry.


Registration to attend in-person is not required for this event. Those that wish to attend virtually may register via Zoom.

Speakers and Topics

  • Moderator: Rev Scott Allen
  • Commentator: Natka Bianchini

Rev Scott Adams co-teaches a course on mass incarceration and justice. Natka Bianchini taught at Maryland Correctional Institution - Jessup (MCIJ), as part of the Goucher Prison Education Partnership. 


  • Freedom Richardson, whose family is featured in the award-winning film Time
  • Erica Suter, attorney and Director of the Innocence Project Clinic, University of Baltimore
  • William Elmore, community advocate and author of Prison From the Inside Out


  • How are families and communities affected by mass incarceration?
  • How can individuals help by serving in prison education or re-entry programs?
  • How can citizens help shape policy and laws to create more fair judicial processes and de-commodify Black, Indigenous, and people of color bodies and labor in prisons?
  • How can we help recognize and transform the legacies of slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, and racism in their ongoing effects on people in our communities today?  


We strive to host inclusive, accessible events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully.  To request an accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, please contact Marcia Wiedefeld at or 410-617-2062 by September 24, 2021.

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