Latin America and Its Discontents
PLYMOUTH, N.H.— The Saul O Sidore Lecture Series at Plymouth State University will present Paul Leighton, a professor in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology at Eastern Michigan University, at 7 p.m. Monday, March 12, in the Smith Recital Hall at the Silver Center for the Arts.
This year’s Sidore Lecture Series focuses on the growing gap between the world’s rich and poor. The speakers hope to inspire audiences to think about the various forms of poverty that plague societies around the world, while sharing concrete solutions.
Speaking on The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison: Inequality, Corporate Power and Crime, Leighton will discuss the link between the distribution of economic resources and crime. He will base his comments on famed criminologist John Braithwaite’s argument that inequality worsens both crimes of poverty, which are motivated by need and structural humiliation, and crimes of wealth, which are motivated by greed and unaccountability. He will also provide a review of numerous solutions proposed over decades, highlighting the importance of campaign finance reform.
Leighton says, “The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society is a book several decades old, but a timeless articulation of the problem. We need to be concerned with reducing crime and violence, including our epidemic of corporate crime. But ‘getting tough’ only on street crime by building prisons is an ineffective, even counterproductive way to reduce violence—like mopping the floor while the tub overflows; it endangers individual liberties (especially of minority citizens), takes money from crime prevention programs and fuels a criminal justice-industrial complex.
Professor Leighton’s teaching and research interests include a range of violence from rape, hate crimes and terrorism to genocide. He also studies white collar crime and criminal justice policy, with expertise in prisons, private prisons and capital punishment (including televised executions).
Leighton edited Criminal Justice Ethics with Jeffrey Reiman. He is also the co-author of Class, Race, Gender and Crime. He has been the North American Editor of Critical Criminology: An International Journal and The American Society of Criminology’s Division on Critical Criminology named him Critical Criminologist of the Year in 2001.
Professor Leighton is a Diversity Fellow and a Technology Fellow at Eastern Michigan, where he teaches Law & Society; Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault; Race, Gender & Crime; Corrections; and the Sociology of Crime.
The Saul O Sidore Lecture Series was established at PSU in 1979 by the Sidore Memorial Foundation to bring a variety of speakers to the University each year to address the critical political, social and cultural issues and events of our time. A reception follows each presentation.
The final lecture for the academic year will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, when Michael Kraus will discuss “Social Class, Solipsism and Contextualism: Why the Rich are Different from the Poor.”
Free tickets for Sidore Lectures are available at the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-2787 or (800) 779-3869.