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Prisons at the heart of a debate at the French residence

Prisons at the heart of a debate at the French residence

Published on March 9, 2016
French and American communities gather for a discussion on criminal justice
Left to right : Didier Fassin,Ta-Nehisi Coates and Jeffrey Goldberg

On March 8, Ambassador Gérard Araud hosted the third edition of the Kalorama Conversations at the French residence, in partnership with The Atlantic. Moderated by Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent at The Atlantic, the discussion focused on the criminal justice systems of France and the U.S. Ta-Nehisi Coates, a national correspondent for The Atlantic and author of Between the World and Me; joined Didier Fassin, a social science professor at the Institute for Advanced Study and author of Prison Worlds: An Ethnography of the Carceral Condition; to lead the discussion.

Some 40 attendees were present at this event, including Senator Amy Klobuchar and former Senator Jim Webb, as well as numerous journalists and lawyers. A number of representatives from think tanks took part, including Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, and Walter Isaacson, president of the Aspen Institute. Other NGOs, organizations and academic institutions represented included the ACLU’s National Prison Project, the Sentencing Project, Black Lives Matter, Human Rights Watch, Georgetown and Columbia University.

At this particular edition of the Kalorama Conversations, participants had the opportunity to discuss the current state of prisons in each country, the discrimination that occurs within their walls and the role of prisons in the respective criminal justice systems.

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