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Smart Decarceration, with Matt Epperson (Ep. 1)

SSA Assoc. Prof. Matt Epperson discusses the history of mass incarceration, and the social and political changes that have occurred over the last decade that may make this the ideal time to begin shrinking the U.S. prison population.

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Show Notes

Matt Epperson, associate professor in the School of Social Service Administration, has seen the failures of mass incarceration first hand. For more than two decades, Epperson worked with incarcerated individuals as a social worker, including six years in a county jail in Michigan.

Epperson calls the revolving door of mass incarceration returning individuals to jail “the definition of insanity,” especially for individuals suffering from mental illness and drug addiction who failed to receive the help they truly needed.

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Episode List

The Magic of Cities, with Luis Bettencourt (Ep. 5)

Luis Bettencourt, Pritzker Director of the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation, discusses his research on complex systems and how he’s combining science and policy and using data to capture “the magic of cities for the common good.”

Making a Smarter City, with Charlie Catlett (Ep. 4)

Charlie Catlett, director of the Urban Center for Computation and Data at UChicago and Argonne, is leading an effort called the Array of Things that aims to install 500 sensor nodes around Chicago and eventually setup a network around the world “to improve living and working in the city.”

Hunger in the Hospital, with Stacy Lindau (Ep. 3)

Physician-scholar Stacy Lindau shares how she decided to address what she called a “real humanitarian need” by leading a Chicago-area program to help combat hunger called Feed1st. The food pantries benefit families and hospital staff, and the program provides critical data for future medical study.

The Psychology of Trees, with Marc Berman (Ep. 2)

UChicago environmental psychologist Marc Berman shows that adding trees to a city can have a significant impact on a person’s health and happiness. His findings have shown that even just looking at pictures of nature or hearing nature sounds can have positive cognitive effects.

Smart Decarceration, with Matt Epperson (Ep. 1)

SSA Assoc. Prof. Matt Epperson discusses the history of mass incarceration, and the social and political changes that have occurred over the last decade that may make this the ideal time to begin shrinking the U.S. prison population.