CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The dramatic growth of the prison population in the United States and its connection with education will be the subject of a three-day interdisciplinary conference this week at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
"Education or Incarceration? Schools and Prisons in a Punishing Democracy" will be held Thursday evening through Saturday morning (Jan. 22-24) at the Levis Faculty Center, 919 W. Illinois St., Urbana. All events associated with the conference, hosted by the university's Center on Democracy in a Multiracial Society (CDMS), are free and open to the public.
The conference will bring together scholars, teachers, artists and activists to tackle questions related to a "prison-industrial-complex" that incarcerates more than 2 million people, and supervises almost 5 million others on parole or probation.
Among the session topics: how the prison-industrial-complex ruins schools, schools as breeding grounds for prison, educational alternatives, the role of artists in education and activism, and building a movement for peace and justice.
The complete conference schedule, including information on the speakers involved. is posted online.
Additional information also is available by calling the CDMS office at