October 12, 2015
Topic: Arts & Culture
Author Piper Kerman has worked to promote the cause of prison and criminal justice reform, since her release from prison.
Kerman, whose book "Orange is the New Black, My Year in a Women's Prison" sparked a popular Netflix series, presents the Vivian R. Shaw Lecture at 5:10 p.m. Tuesday at Rackham Auditorium.
Based on the 13 months she spent in the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut on money laundering charges, Kerman’s memoir explores the experience of incarceration. This included the intersection of her life with the lives of the women she met in prison: their friendships and families, mental illnesses and substance abuse issues, cliques and codes of behavior.
The book also raises provocative questions about the state of criminal justice in America, and how incarceration affects the individual and communities throughout the nation. Kerman serves on the board of the Women's Prison Association. It provides preventative services for at-risk women, works to create alternatives to incarceration, advocates against practices like shackling during childbirth and offers programs to aid reentry into society.
Event sponsors are the Department of Women's Studies, Law School, Department of Sociology, Screen Arts & Cultures, the School of Social Work, and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.