Baz Dreisinger Associate Professor of English, John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Author, "Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World"

Dr. Baz Dreisinger is: professor, journalist, justice worker, film and radio producer, cultural critic and prison-rights activist. Based in the English department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, she is the Founding Academic Director of the Prison-to-College Pipeline program, which offers college courses and reentry planning to incarcerated men throughout New York State, and broadly works to increase access to higher education for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals. Her book "Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World" (2016)--a first-person odyssey through prisons in nine countries, beginning in Africa and concluding in Europe--offers a radical rethinking of one of America's most devastating exports and national experiments: the modern prison system. As a journalist and critic, Dr. Dreisinger writes about Caribbean culture, race-related issues, travel and music for such outlets as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and ForbesLife, and produces on-air segments about music and global culture for National Public Radio (NPR). Together with Oscar-nominated filmmaker Peter Spirer, Dr. Dreisinger produced and wrote the documentaries "Black & Blue: Legends of the Hip-Hop Cop," which investigates the New York Police Department's monitoring of the hip-hop industry, and "Rhyme & Punishment," about hip-hop and the prison industrial complex. Dr. Dreisinger earned her Ph.D. in English from Columbia University, where she specialized in African-American studies. Her first book "Near Black: White-to-Black Passing in American Culture" (2008), a cultural history of whites who pass as black, was featured in the New York Times Book Review and on NPR and CNN.