Rocque, Petrella ’06 offer choice words on MLK Day theme of incarceration and citizenship

Assistant Professor of Sociology Michael Rocque and colleague Chris Petrella ’06, a First Year Seminar lecturer at Bates, comment on the 2016 Bates MLK Day theme, “Mass Incarceration and Black Citizenship.”

Rocque, a co-chair of the MLK Day Planning Committee, researches criminological theory, racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and desistance from crime.

An essayist and media commentator who brings clarity to issues of inequity in law enforcement and the criminal justice system, Rocque has said that he’s “driven by a desire to assist in the quest for social justice.

Petrella is a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, where he studies the relationship among race, incarceration, and modern capitalism. He’s been sought out for media stories on how private prisons keep prisoners locked up longer in order to boost profits.

His doctoral dissertation looks at “Courts, Contracts, and Corporate Corrections: The Paradox of the Private Prison State.”