Marc M. Howard is one of the country's leading voices and advocates for criminal justice and prison reform. He is a Professor of Government and Law, and the founding Director of the Prisons and Justice Initiative, at Georgetown University. He is also the Founder and President of the Frederick Douglass Project for Justice, a non-profit organization that launched in 2020. Howard’s scholarly research addresses the deep challenges of contemporary democracy and the tragedy of criminal justice and prisons in America. The author of three books and dozens of academic articles, his work has received numerous awards. His most recent book is Unusually Cruel: Prisons, Punishment, and the Real American Exceptionalism (Oxford, 2017). Howard is also a prize-winning teacher and community leader who was recently awarded the Provost's Innovation in Teaching Award and the American Political Science Association’s Distinguished Award for Civic and Community Engagement. Howard received his B.A. in Ethics, Politics, and Economics from Yale University, his M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and his J.D. from Georgetown University.
Drawing on his own deeply personal experiences, Howard will tell stories of both despair and hope, channeling and humanizing the voices of millions of incarcerated Americans. The American criminal justice system is fundamentally broken, but the outlook for much-needed reform is better than ever. Universities and students can play a leading role in that effort, as shown by Georgetown's Prisons and Justice Initiative, which offers credit-bearing courses at the DC Jail, a degree-granting program at a Maryland prison, two groundbreaking reentry programs for formerly incarcerated women and men, and whose students have contributed to three exonerations.