I'm currently at the Concerned Philosophers for Peace conference in Dayton, Ohio. Got lots of positive feedback and ideas on my paper, and have met many really great people.
Angela Davis gave the keynote last night, discussing various examples of injustice and violence that get perpetuated by the American prison system. Davis, if you aren't familiar, is a "prison abolitionist." And she really means it. The interesting point was not so much the point of trying harder to understand why crimes happen, but that abolishing prison is not the same as the end of holding people accountable. Rather, it means that we could, if we face the problems, come up with much more creative and productive ways of holding people accountable than by making them invisible (by, as it were, putting them behind bars). Of course, for Davis, that is a secondary point; her primary concern has to do with the connections between prison and our history of racism (and other forms of oppression). Very thought-provoking.