Since January 2017 when Donald Trump became president, there has been a sharp shift to the right in criminal justice policies in the United States. Drawing upon his latest book, Beyond These Walls: Rethinking Crime and Punishment in the United States, Tony Platt assesses these changes and asks: How did the Trump administration reinvigorate the politics of law and order? How is it different from a long tradition of bipartisan support for expansion of the carceral state since the 1960s? What is old and what is new about recent developments? And what are the chances for a revitalization of progressive and radical visions of social justice?
Tony Platt, a criminologist and sociologist, is the author of twelve books and 150 essays and articles dealing with issues of criminal justice, race, inequality, and social justice in American history. He taught at the University of Chicago, University of California (Berkeley), and California State Universities. He is currently a Distinguished Affiliated Scholar at the Center for the Study of Law & Society, University of California, Berkeley. His most recent book is Beyond These Walls: Rethinking Crime and Punishment in the United States (St. Martin’s Press). His first book, The Child Savers: The Invention of Delinquency (University of Chicago, 1969) is still in print in a new edition (Rutgers University Press, 2009). His longtime experience as a public intellectual and activist informs his work.