WSU’s 2015-16 Common Reading book is Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson. Common Reading is a program where topics from a selected book for first-year students are featured in several classes in university-wide disciplines, special events and presentations. Dr. Faith Lutze gave an invited presentation for the WSU Common Reading Program titled The Evolving American Prison: Executing the Ideals of Justice, Mercy, and Redemption. The Common Reading Program holds a number of events throughout the year inspired by this book. Dr. Lutze’s presentation highlighted how prisons in the United States have a long history of adapting to shifting notions of justice, mercy, and redemption. She emphasized how criminal justice and prison leaders are expected to translate philosophy into reality for both staff and offenders. Historical and contemporary research shows there is often a gap between our intentions (conscience) as a society and the reality of our practices (convenience). Her presentation illustrated both the good and the bad in our country’s use of prisons to achieve criminal justice goals.
You can find out more about WSU's Common Reading Program by clicking here.