We are delighted to share that EJS Board Chair, Priscilla Ocen, was selected as a 2018 PEN America Writing for Justice Fellow.
Priscilla will use long-form journalism to push against the concept of community supervision as an antidote to mass incarceration, specifically in relationship to system-involved Black women, accompanied by photographic portraiture and community resource guides. She will be working with ProPublica journalist Nina Martin.
Priscilla Ocen is a professor of law at Loyola Law School, where she teaches criminal law, family law, and a seminar on race, gender, and the law. Her work examines the relationship between race and gender identities and punishment, and has appeared in academic journals such as the California Law Review, the UCLA Law Review, and the Du Bois Review, as well as popular media outlets such as the Los Angeles Daily Journal, Ebony, and Al Jazeera. Prior to joining the faculty at Loyola Law School, Ocen was a Critical Race Studies fellow at UCLA School of Law. Additionally, Ocen served as a law clerk to the Honorable Eric L. Clay of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Following her clerkship, she was the Thurgood Marshall Fellow at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. Based on her professional and academic experience, Ocen was elected to serve as the Vice-Chair of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Civilian Oversight Commission.
ABOUT PEN AMERICA’S WRITING FOR JUSTICE FELLOWSHIP
PEN America’s Writing for Justice Fellowship commissions writers—emerging or established—to create written works of lasting merit that illuminate critical issues related to mass incarceration and catalyze public debate.
The Fellowship aims to harness the power of writers and writing in bearing witness to the societal consequences of mass incarceration by capturing and sharing the stories of incarcerated individuals, their families, communities, and the wider impact of the criminal justice system. Our goal is to ignite a broad, sustained conversation about the dangers of over-incarceration and the imperative to mobilize behind rational and humane policies. As an organization of writers dedicated to promoting free expression and informed discourse, PEN America is honored to have been entrusted by the Art for Justice Fund to engage the literary community in addressing this pressing societal issue.