Criminal justice expert will address America's soaring prison population

Criminal justice expert will address America's soaring prison population
April 23, 2007

Phil Brozynski, Media Relations Manager
(630) 829-6094

In 1975, there were 380,000 inmates housed in U.S. prisons. By the end of 2006, that number had skyrocketed to more than 2.2 million. Approximately one in every 136 U.S. residents is behind bars, including 12 percent of all black men between the ages of 25 and 29. The bill to taxpayers to incarcerate those 2.2 million prisoners? About $24 billion per year. James Austin, Ph.D., CEO of the JFA Institute in Washington, D.C. and an expert in the field of criminal justice policies and practices, will present “Unlocking America: Why and How to Reduce America’s Prison Population” from 7:00-8:00 p.m. on Monday, April 30 in the Krasa Presentation Room on the campus of Benedictine University. The presentation is sponsored by Benedictine University’s departments of Sociology and Political Science. The JFA Institute partners with federal, state and local government agencies and philanthropic foundations to evaluate criminal justice practices and design policies. The JFA Institute also provides technical assistance to a number of states including Florida, Nevada and Texas, and uses simulation models to forecast and analyze prison population trends. Austin has been involved in correctional planning and research for more than 25 years. He is the former director of the Institute on Crime, Justice and Corrections at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and has served as the director of several extensive research programs funded by the U.S. Department of Justice. Austin has authored a number of publications and received a number of awards for his work in the field of criminology. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Wheaton (Ill.) College in 1970, a Master of Arts from DePaul University in 1975, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of California-Davis in 1980. For more information about the event, contact Jessyca Booth, office assistant in the Department of Psychology/Sociology, at (630) 829-6230.


Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 56 undergraduate majors, 16 graduate and four doctorate programs. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently ranked Benedictine University as the seventh fastest-growing campus among private nonprofit master’s universities, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among the top 20 percent of America’s colleges for 2011. Benedictine University’s Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain’s Chicago Business as the fourth largest in the Chicago area in 2011.