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Gellman on College in Prisons (WGBH) and Mexico’s Electoral System (Latin American Advisor)

Mneesha Gellman headshot

Associate Professor and Emerson Prison Initiative Director Mneesha Gellman was quoted on WGBH last week advocating for more state support for college-in-prison programs.

“I think there’s a lot of room in this current political moment to be clear that this is something that we want to do,” Gellman told WGBH.

The story cites a new Boston Foundation position paper calling for an expansion of higher education opportunities in Massachusetts prisons, of which Gellman and Emerson Interim President Bill Gilligan are signatories.

Read the story and the position paper.

Earlier in the week, Gellman was quoted in Latin American Advisor, a publication of the Inter-American Dialogue, talking about Mexican President Manuel López Obrador’s proposed changes to the country’s electoral system.

Gellman said that it’s a mistake to confuse procedural democracy – the rules and processes that an institution uses to facilitate elections- with substantive democracy, which empowers all individuals within the institution.

“I see … Obrador’s intention to reconfigure [the National Electoral Institute] as problematic, but not necessarily for the same reasons that have been circulating in the media,” Gellman said. “Institutions are built and maintained by people; that means they are no more perfect than the people who run them. It also means institutions can change, because human-made policies in even quasi-democratic contexts are a product of deliberation, and deliberations are renegotiable. López Obrador is looking to circumvent democratic practices that threaten his power on multiple fronts.”

Read the article.  


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