Julilly Kohler-Hausmann will discuss her book, Getting Tough: Welfare and Imprisonment in 1970s America, which examines the politics that led to the unprecedented growth of the penal system and the evisceration of the nation's welfare programs in the late 20th century. She explores how key welfare, crime, and drug policy in the 1970s helped empower the penal system, discredit “rehabilitation” and social welfare programs, and cast blame for the era's social upheaval on racialized groups that the state was not accountable to serve or represent.
Julilly Kohler-Hausmann is an Assistant Professor of History at Cornell University and is currently a fellow with the Warren Center at Harvard University. Her first book, Getting Tough: Welfare and Imprisonment in 1970s America, was published by Princeton University Press. She has been awarded fellowships from the American Association of University Women, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Her writing has been published in the Journal of American History, Journal of Social History, Journal of Urban History, New York Times, and the edited collection Challenging the Prison-Industrial Complex. Prior to entering academia, Julilly spent six years organizing around labor, welfare, and antipoverty issues.