Keesha Middlemass, Department of Political Science, Howard University, Joins PBS NewsHour Searching for Justice Panel



WASHINGTON Keesha Middlemass, Professor in the Department of Political Science at Howard University,Doctorate, will join PBS NewsHour for a one-hour discussion on life after prison, the challenges of the reintegration process for returning citizens and why it matters. As part of PBS NewsHour’s ongoing coverage of “Searching for Justice,” the event will be broadcast live on the PBS NewsHour website from the Louis Stokes Health Sciences Library on December 2 at 7:00 p.m. ET.

“Howard University’s College of Arts and Sciences is home to some of the nation’s foremost researchers and opinion leaders regarding the need for fundamental change in our criminal justice system,” said Rubin patterson, Dean of Howard University College of Arts and Science. “We are very grateful to our colleagues in political science who will help inform the nation on December 2 via PBS NewsHour about the heartbreaking challenges facing citizens returning to local communities across the country. This thoughtful conversation will not only discuss the problem, but it will also communicate solutions. “

Each year, more than 600,000 people leave state and federal prisons in the United States. Many of these people find that even though they have served their sentence, they are still not free, often facing barriers in housing, food, employment and more. Their criminal history follows them long into the future, making it difficult to stay out of jail or jail.

The rate of return to prison of those formerly incarcerated is stubbornly high. Within three years of release, approximately 40% of those released are returned to custody. Advocates argue that when formerly incarcerated adults are able to reintegrate successfully, society as a whole is better off.

Hosted by PBS NewsHour digital presenter Nicole Ellis, the panelists include:

  • Keesha Middlemass, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Political Science, Howard University;
  • Jay Jordan, vice president of the Alliance for Security and Justice; and
  • Chiraag Bains, deputy assistant to the president and deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council for Racial Justice and Fairness at the White House.

Middlemass focuses on the intersection of race, public policy, and lived experiences with the criminal justice system. She is the author of “Convicted & Condemned: The Politics and Policies of Prisoner Reentry” (New York University Press, 2017).

“Re-entering society after serving a prison sentence is a difficult process as each individual must create a life for themselves by addressing several interrelated issues simultaneously and with little or no support while navigating public policies that hamper their reintegration efforts.” , said Middlemass.

Jay Jordan is a public policy expert, political campaigner and nationally recognized organizer. He is currently the vice-president of the Alliance for Security and Justice, a multi-state organization working to replace over-incarceration with more effective public safety solutions anchored in crime prevention, community health. , rehabilitation and support for victims of crime, and as the national director of #TimeDone, a campaign to end restrictions and barriers placed on people living with previous convictions.

Jordan will talk about his personal experiences as a former incarcerated individual returning to society

Chiraag Bains oversees the DPC’s democracy and voting rights, criminal justice, disability, Indigenous affairs, the racial wealth gap, and the broad stock portfolios for the White House. He will discuss the reintegration priorities of the current administration.

Nicole Ellis and the panelists will answer questions from the audience.

To register for the event, visit

The event will also be broadcast live on


About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private research university that includes 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 degree programs leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to excellence in truth and service and has produced one Schwarzman Fellow, three Marshall Fellows, four Rhodes Fellows, 12 Truman Fellows, 25 Pickering Fellows and over 165 Fulbright Fellows. Howard also produces more African American doctorates on campus. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information about Howard University, visit

Media contact: Aaliyah Butler; [email protected]

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