Professor Kafka will examine the historic relationship between schools and prisons in the United States, not as a “pipeline” from one to the other, but as interdependent institutions. Using two case studies – the early development of education and incarceration in 19th century Brooklyn and the rise of “zero tolerance” discipline policies in postwar Los Angeles – Dr. Kafka will explore how schools and prisons rely on one another for institutional legitimacy, and ask how we can abolish one without the other.
Judith Kafka is Associate Professor of educational policy and the history of education in the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College, City University of New York, where she also serves as the Faculty Director for the Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs. Dr. Kafka’s scholarship uses a historical lens to examine the social, political, and institutional forces that shape American schooling, with a focus on the ways education policies can serve to both interrupt and reinforce social, racial, and economic inequalities. Dr. Kafka is the author of The History of ‘Zero Tolerance’ in American Public Schooling (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011). Her current project explores historical structural and spatial dimensions of educational inequality in Brooklyn, New York.
This event will be held in-person and livestreamed on Zoom. To attend on Zoom, registration is required.