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As mass incarceration has reached record levels, professor, journalist, and visionary founder of the Prison to College Pipeline (P2CP), Baz Dreisinger has traveled behind bars in nine countries to rethink the state of justice in a global context. Her eye-opening new book, Incarceration Nations, offers a first-person odyssey through the modern prison systems of the world and gives voices to the millions silenced behind bars. Join Dreisinger as she discusses her timely work and urges for a massive overhaul in prison reform in the U.S. and across the globe.

Baz Dreisinger

Dr. Baz Dreisinger is: professor, journalist, justice worker, film and radio producer, cultural critic and prison-rights activist. As a journalist and critic, Dr. Dreisinger writes about Caribbean culture, race-related issues, travel, music and pop culture 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. Together with filmmaker Peter Spirer, Professor 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. She is the author of Near Black: White to Black Passing in American Culture (2008) and, in 2016, Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World.

Scott Budnick

Scott Budnick is the Founder and President of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition. He grew up in Atlanta, GA, and graduated from Emory University in 1999 with degrees in Business and Film. Formerly the Executive Vice President of Todd Phillips’ production company, Green Hat Films, Scott executive produced many successful comedies including the highest grossing rated-R comedies in history, THE HANGOVER series. Outside of film, Scott is a fierce champion for children in need. Scott is a teacher and serves on the Board for InsideOUT Writers, an organization that aims to reduce juvenile recidivism through the use of creative writing and by providing a range of services to meet the needs of currently and formerly incarcerated young adults. Scott also serves on the Board of the Los Angeles Conservation Corps and on the Advisory Board for the Loyola Law School Center for Juvenile Law and Policy. For his work with youth in the criminal justice system, Governor Jerry Brown named Scott California’s Volunteer of the Year for 2012. Scott currently sits on the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) and the Governor-appointed Community Colleges Board of Governors. Most recently, Scott was selected to be a Board Member of President Obama’s newly created foundation, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance.


Reservation Policy for Free Programs:
As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at approximately 7 PM.


Standby Policy:
Standby numbers are distributed in person only one hour before the program, on a first-come, first-served, basis. There is no advance wait list for full programs. Standby patrons will be admitted subject to availability. Most programs will be available via podcast.


Book Signing Policy:
ALOUD is one of many free programs at the Los Angeles Public Library made possible by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Most ALOUD author programs are followed by book signings. At least one copy of the author’s book must be purchased from The Library Store in order to participate in any post-program book signing, and you will be asked to show proof of purchase. Please be prepared to show your proof of purchase when you enter the book signing line. Proceeds support the Los Angeles Public Library.


Main image: Fence by Jason Shultz

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.

  • Where can I find podcasts and videos of ALOUD programs?

    Podcasts and videos from our programs are available free online at our growing Media Archive. Visit the archive at lfla.org/media-archive to explore hundreds of podcasts and videos spanning 20+ years of ALOUD’s history bringing authors, artists, and t thinkers to the Los Angeles Public Library.