Eastern State Penitentiary Launches 2014 Searchlight Series

Series kicks off January 7 with discussion on mass incarceration in America

Jan 02, 2014, 10:05 ET from Eastern State Penitentiary

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site partners with nationally recognized penologists and educators to present an ongoing discussion series about crime, justice, and the American prison system. The Searchlight Series discussions take place the first Tuesday of every month, free and open to the public.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130227/MM67151-a )

The 2014 series kicks off Tuesday, January 7, at 6:00 p.m. with "Lock Up America: Why Mass Incarceration Matters To our Cities, our Economy, and our Democracy." Dr. Heather Ann Thompson, a historian of American crime and punishment, will explore how this nation came to incarcerate more citizens than any other county in the world, and she will locate what the consequences of this punitive turn have been for all Americans.

Dr. Thompson writes about the contemporary implications of today's high rates of incarceration for publications such as The New York Times and The Atlantic.

No reservations required. For more information, visit easternstate.org/searchlight.

About The Searchlight Series

The Searchlight Series takes place the first Tuesday of every month, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Eastern State Penitentiary. A reception follows each discussion. These events are free and open to the public. No reservations required. The 2014 schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, January 7
Tuesday, February 4
Tuesday, March 4
Tuesday, April 1
Tuesday, May 6
Tuesday, June 3
Tuesday, July 1
Tuesday, August 5
Tuesday, September 2
Tuesday, October 7
Tuesday, November 4
Tuesday, December 2

Discussion topics and speakers TBA. For more information about The Searchlight Series, visit easternstate.org/searchlight.

About Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site

Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard tours. Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, this was the world's first true "penitentiary," a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of its convicts. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America's most notorious criminals, including bank robber "Slick Willie" Sutton and Al Capone.

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site is located at 22nd Street and Fairmount Avenue, just five blocks from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Admission is $14 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $10 for students and children ages 7-12. (Not recommended for children under the age of seven.) The penitentiary is open every day, year round from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.) For more information, please call (215) 236-3300 or visit easternstate.org.

SOURCE Eastern State Penitentiary