Hastings Law professor to speak on prisons and transformation of punishment

Talk is the latest in the UC Santa Cruz and UC Hastings Social Justice Lecture Series

hadar aviram
Hadar Aviram is a professor at UC Hastings College of the Law whose research focuses on the criminal justice system.

Professor Hadar Aviram of UC Hastings College of the Law will speak on the American prison system and the transformation of punishment as part of the continuing UC Santa Cruz and UC Hastings Social Justice Lecture Series.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. Monday, May 9, at University Center, Colleges Nine and Ten, on the UC Santa Cruz campus. Cost is $5 and includes parking. The public is invited.

Aviram’s lecture is titled “Cheap on Crime: The Transformation of American Punishment” based on her 2015 book Cheap on Crime: Recession-Era Politics and the Transformation of Punishment (UC Press) which examines the impact of the financial crisis on the American penal landscape.

Craig Haney, University Professor of psychology and legal studies at UC Santa Cruz, will introduce Aviram. Haney is a renowned expert on the U.S. penal system who has testified widely on the psychological effects of incarceration before state and federal lawmakers.

Changes are brewing in the American correctional system after 40 years of increasing prison construction and incarceration rates. Calls from the right and left are being made to reform punishment through fiscal prudence and austerity.

In Cheap on Crime, Aviram draws on archival and journalistic research and builds on social history and economics literature to show the impact the recession had on policy discussions of the death penalty, the war on drugs, incarceration practices, prison health care, and other aspects of the American correctional landscape.

Before joining the Hastings faculty in 2007, Aviram practiced as a military defense attorney in the Israel Defense Forces for five years. She completed her M.A. in Criminology at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and her Ph.D. in UC Berkeley's Jurisprudence and Social Policy program, where she studied as a Fulbright Fellow and a Regents Intern, and taught at Tel Aviv University.

Professor Aviram’s research focuses on the criminal justice system and examines policing, courtroom practices, and broad policy decisions through social science perspectives. She co-chairs the Hastings Institute for Criminal Justice and runs the California Correctional Crisis blog.

The Social Justice Speaker Series is part of the collaboration between UC Santa Cruz and UC Hastings and supports the 3+3 BA-JD program that allows students to obtain a bachelors degree and law degree in six years instead of the usual seven.

Supporting partners include the Santa Cruz County Bar Association, Santa Cruz County Trial Lawyers Association, UC Santa Cruz Social Sciences Division, UC Santa Cruz departments of politics, legal studies, economics, feminist studies and sociology