Reuben Jonathan Miller is a sociologist, criminologist and social worker whose work centers on race, democracy and the social life of the city.

Why you should listen

Reuben Jonathan Miller teaches at the University of Chicago in the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy and Practice. He is also a research professor at the American Bar Foundation. He studies and writes about race, democracy and the social life of the city, focusing on how the most marginalized among us experience crime control, social welfare and urban policy. His work has been widely published in fields that range from sociology, social work, law and legal studies to human rights, psychology and public health. He has been a member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey; a fellow at the New America Foundation' a resident at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Bellagio, Italy; and a visiting scholar at the University of Texas at Austin and Dartmouth College.

Miller is the author of Halfway Home: Race, Punishment, and the Afterlife of Mass Incarceration, a "persuasive and essential" (Dr. Matthew Desmond) book that offers a "stunning, and deeply painful reckoning with our nation's carceral system" (Heather Ann Thompson), based on 15 years of research and practice with incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people, their family members, friends and the people they turn to for support in their times of need. A native son of Chicago, Miller lives with his wife and children on the city's South Side.

Reuben Jonathan Miller’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Reuben Jonathan Miller


Free to Dream: TED Talks in partnership with American Family Insurance

November 22, 2021

We all deserve the right to dream and to pursue better, richer and fuller lives. In fact, this ideal is often referred to as the American Dream. And yet, the country’s criminal justice system denies many people the freedom to truly dream — even after they have been technically “freed” from incarceration. In an evening […]

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