From prisons and youth correctional facilities to schools and county jails, we’re surrounded by institutions that punish. But why do we punish? Why is punishment sometimes sanctioned by the state? Critics of the “prison industrial complex” argue that our methods and scale of punishment are informed by profit, while tough-on-crime policymakers believe that punishment must be meaningful enough to prevent recidivism and ensure public safety. Are there other ways to punish—such as restorative justice—that may be more effective, reasonable, or desirable? Philosopher and writer Monica Mueller facilitates a conversation around these questions and others regarding our motivation, purpose, and methods of punishment.
Monica Mueller | Portland
Monica Mueller is an instructor of philosophy at Portland State University and specializes in ethical and political philosophy. She published the book Contrary to Thoughtlessness: Rethinking Practical Wisdom and is interested in discussing the seemingly overwhelming problems of living together in a world with others.