Image - speaker photos
Past Event

Excessive Punishment: How the Justice System Creates Mass Incarceration

How can we reimagine the justice system to support restoration instead of retribution?

Our panelists believe the American criminal justice system cannot reduce its dependence on mass incarceration until we confront our impulse to punish in ways that are excessive, often wildly disproportionate to the harm caused. Instead, our panel will explore the transformative power of second chances, including those who have benefited from them—and those who advocate to ensure our system provides them.

Prompting this discussion is the publication of a series of essays, Excessive Punishment: How the Justice System Creates Mass Incarceration, that trace how a maze of local, state and federal agencies have contributed to mass incarceration and deterred attempts at reform.

Kevin McCracken from The Last Mile, Michael Mendoza, and Ken Oliver from the Checkr Foundation will join L.B. Eisen from the Brennan Center for Justice and retired Judge LaDoris Cordell for a thoughtful conversation on the second chances their organizations are providing and efforts to reform the existing criminal justice system.


Photo courtesy the speakers.

April 3, 2024

The Commonwealth Club of California
110 The Embarcadero
Taube Family Auditorium
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States

Image - L.B. Eisen

L.B. Eisen

Senior Director of the Justice Program, Brennan Center for Justice, New York University School of Law; Editor, Excessive Punishment: How the Justice System Creates Mass Incarceration

Image - Kevin McCracken

Kevin McCracken

Chief Growth Officer, The Last Mile

Image - Michael Mendoza

Michael Mendoza

Former Director of Advocacy, Anti-Recidivism Coalition and Member Practitioner, Office of Juvenile Justice

Image - Ken Oliver

Ken Oliver

Executive Director, Checkr Foundation

Image - LaDoris Cordell

LaDoris Cordell

Superior Court Judge (ret); Author, Her Honor: My Life on the Bench…What Works, What’s Broken, and How to Change It