Who Belongs In Prison?

Erin Kelly

The belief that people convicted of crimes deserve retribution is commonplace. Yet fixation on harsh punishment is morally misleading. Erin Kelly, Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University, explains how the popular idea that the criminally guilty deserve to suffer is used to normalize inhumane treatment and to evade our collective failures as a society.

Erin Kelly

Erin Kelly is Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University. Her research interests are in moral and political philosophy and the philosophy of law, with a focus on questions about justice, the nature of moral reasoning, moral responsibility and desert, and theories of punishment. She earned a B.A. in philosophy from Stanford University and a PhD from Harvard University. Her current work focuses on how matters of social justice should bear on our thinking about individual responsibility and our assessment of criminal justice institutions. She is the author of The Limits of Blame: Rethinking Punishment and Responsibility, which criticizes the role of blame in popular theories of criminal justice. She has a non-academic interest in music, film, the outdoors, and two teenage daughters.
Full Bio