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Enoch Pratt Free Library Calendar

Writers LIVE: Peter Edelman, Not a Crime to Be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America

Thursday, March 8, 2018 7:00pm

Church of the Redeemer View map Free Event

5603 N. Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21210

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Peter Edelman, the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law and Public Policy at Georgetown University Law Center, talks about his new 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.

In Not a Crime to Be Poor, Peter 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 policy makers working for a more humane approach.

Peter Edelman also serves as the faculty director of the Center on Poverty and Inequality at Georgetown University Law Center. He is the author of So Rich, So Poor: Why It's So Hard. Lester Spence is the author of Knocking the Hustle: Against the Neoliberal Turn in Black Politics.

Presented in partnership with Open Society Institute-Baltimore. To register, click here.

Book sales provided by the Ivy Bookshop.

Writers LIVE programs are supported in part by The Miss Howard Hubbard Adult Programming Fund.

  • Sheldon S
  • Sherry Martin DeFrancisci
  • Jacqueline Rhoden-Trader

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