Even if the penal system were transformed in such a way as to eliminate racial disparities rooted in racism, racial disparities in criminal legal outcomes would almost certainly persist. To better understand why, we invited David Garland, Arthur T. Vanderbilt Professor of Law at the NYU School of Law and also Professor of Sociology in NYU’s Department of Sociology, to remind us of the institutional foundations of strong, vibrant, stable and safe communities.

David GarlandDavid Garland is the Arthur T. Vanderbilt Professor of Law at the School of Law and also Professor of Sociology in NYU’s Department of Sociology. Garland is the author of a series of award-winning books, including Punishment and Welfare: A History of Penal Strategies (1st edition, 1985; new edition 2018); Punishment and Modern Society: A Study in Social Theory (1990); The Culture of Control: Crime and Social Order in Contemporary Society (2001); and Peculiar Institution: America’s Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition (2010). He has been elected to membership of learned societies in both the US and the UK, being a Fellow of the British Academy, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Garland has been a Davis Fellow at Princeton University’s History Department (1984-85), a J. S. Guggenheim Fellow (2006-07) and a Fellow of the Stanford Center for Advanced Study (TBA). He has been awarded doctorates honoris causa by the Free University of Brussels (2009) and Oslo University (2017). In 2012, the American Society of Criminology awarded him the Edwin H. Sutherland Prize for outstanding contributions to theory and research. He was Shimizu Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics in 2014 and is currently a Professorial Fellow at Edinburgh University Law School. His current work focuses on comparative explanations of America’s distinctive use of punishment and on the genealogy of the idea of the ‘welfare state.’ His most recent book, The Welfare State: A Very Short Introduction (OUP) was published in the spring of 2016.