Historian Heather Thompson named to National Academy of Science advisory panel

Historians in the News

Heather Ann Thompson, professor of history in the Department of African American Studies and the Department of History at Temple, has been named to a National Academy of Sciences panel to study the causes and consequences of high rates of incarceration in the United States. The two-year, $1.5 million project is sponsored by the National Institute of Justice and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Thompson, the only historian named to the panel, is writing the first comprehensive history of the Attica Prison Rebellion of 1971 and its legacy. She is also the author of Whose Detroit: Politics, Labor and Race in a Modern American City (Cornell University Press: 2001).

The 18-member panel of leading scholars and experts, chaired by Jeremy Travis, president of John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, will examine the reasons for the dramatic increases in U.S. incarceration rates since the 1970s. Currently, more than 2.3 million people are behind bars in American prisons and jails at any one time, representing one of the highest incarceration levels in the world....

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