The United States, a single country, locks up a quarter of the world’s incarcerated population. More than 850,000 Americans are currently on parole. Yet the parole system is opaque, a confounding process riddled with inequities. Few understand parole as the extraordinary pivot point it is—both in the country’s changing conceptions of justice and in the cycle of mass incarceration.
Austen’s book High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing was longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal of Excellence in Nonfiction and named one of the best books of 2018 by Booklist, Mother Jones and the public libraries of Chicago and St. Louis. A former editor at Harper’s Magazine, Ben is the co-host of Some of My Best Friends Are... a podcast from Pushkin. He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Chicago and his feature writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, GQ, Wired and many other publications.