Asylums and Prisons: Deinstitutionalization and Decarceration, Session 4

Since the early nineteenth century, carceral spaces such as asylums, prisons, and state schools have been central to U.S. governance. Yet in the twentieth century these institutions took drastically different paths, as institutions for developmental disabilities and mental health dramatically decreased and prisons became the dominant state‐run institutions. This one‐day symposium at the University of Chicago on Friday May 3, 2013, will bring together scholars from political science, law, history, sociology and disability studies to ask questions such as: How does deinstitutionalization in mental health relate to the rise of mass incarceration? How do medicalization, criminalization and technologies of surveillance intersect in the new penal state? What are the possibilities for change?

Session 4 included presentations and discussion with Ray Noll, University of Chicago, and Robert Fairbanks, University of Chicago.