Marc Morjé Howard is Professor of Government and Law, and the founding Director of the Prisons and Justice Initiative, at Georgetown University. He is one of the country's leading voices and advocates for criminal justice and prison reform.
Howard’s scholarly research addresses the deep challenges of contemporary democracy and the tragedy of criminal justice and prisons in America. The author of three books and dozens of academic articles, his work has received numerous awards. His most recent book is Unusually Cruel: Prisons, Punishment, and the Real American Exceptionalism.
Howard is also a prize-winning teacher, and his "Prisons and Punishment" course has become one of the most sought-after courses at Georgetown. Moreover, the students in his "Making an Exoneree" course—co-taught with his childhood friend, Marty Tankleff, who was himself wrongfully imprisoned for almost 18 years—re-investigate likely wrongful conviction cases and create documentaries that suggest innocence. The class is being covered by a production company for a multi-episode documentary series that will air on a major network. Their project has already resulted in the exoneration of Valentino Dixon, who had served 27 years in prison, and more exonerations may be coming soon.
Under Howard's leadership, the Prisons and Justice Initiative recently launched the Pivot Program for formerly incarcerated women and men to become entrepreneurs and business leaders, the Paralegal Program for formerly incarcerated jailhouse lawyers to become certified paralegals who are employed by major DC law firms, and the Prison Scholars Program, which offers both credit-bearing and non-credit courses to incarcerated students at the DC Jail.
Howard has also written for a broader popular audience, including op-eds in major newspapers and short articles about the life lessons of sports in Tennis Magazine and Sports Illustrated. He has hosted events with celebrities such as the rapper Meek Mill. And he will be featured in a new documentary alongside Kim Kardashian West, who visited the DC Jail with him.
Howard received his B.A. in Ethics, Politics, and Economics from Yale University, his M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and his J.D. from Georgetown University.