Mass Incarceration and the Misdemeanor Net

Alexandra Natapoff, Professor of Criminal Law at Harvard Law School


Professor Natapoff is the author of “Punishment Without Crime: How Our Massive Misdemeanor System Traps the Innocent and Makes America More Unequal,” a former federal public defender, and a professor of criminal law at Harvard Law School. She has written extensively about the “misdemeanor net,” through which millions of Americans are charged with petty, low-level misdemeanors which are leveraged into hasty guilty pleas that have devastating long-term consequences for these system-impacted individuals. Professor Natapoff will also speak about her recently published article in Harvard Law Review looking specifically at Criminal Municipal Courts, which have largely gone unscrutinized, yet contribute dramatically to localized mass incarceration and fundamentally undermine due process.

Please join the Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law for a series of lunch talks with practitioners, researchers, and activists on critical and timely issues at the intersection law, racial justice, and the decriminalization of poverty!

This series is co-sponsored by the DA Accountability & Participatory Defense Project and the Contra Costa Re-entry Project.