Harold Stoner Clark Lectures

The Ethical and Public Health Implications of Mass Incarceration and Housing (In)Security

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Location: Samuelson Chapel (also available via livestream)

Sean A. Valles, PhD

Sean Valles

Valles, an associate professor and director of the Michigan State University Center for Bioethics and Social Justice, is the author of the 2018 book Philosophy of Population Health: Philosophy for a New Public Health Era (Routledge Press), and co-editor (with Quill R. Kukla) of the Oxford University Press book series Bioethics for Social Justice.

He is a philosopher of health, focusing on questions of how social context shapes health and, ethically, what should be done in response to that evidence.

Rethinking Prisons, Policing, and Public Health after Fifty Years of Mass Incarceration

11:10 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

In the first lecture, Sean A. Valles, PhD, will explore the ethical complexities of research indicating that mass incarceration and associated policing techniques have had enormous negative health effects on both incarcerated and nonincarcerated people. The COVID-19 pandemic’s spread in jails and prisons, and related efforts to grant early release to nonviolent prisoners, raise new questions about the roles of prisons and policing in post-pandemic U.S. society.

Pandemic-Era Eviction Bans Were a Step Toward Recognizing Homes as a Basic Health Need

4-5:30 p.m.

In the second lecture, Valles will discuss housing security as a public health concern, especially during the wave of eviction bans in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. These eviction bans had a mixed record in courts, but raise larger questions about how we should address housing security in light of new research on the causes and effects of homelessness, as well as renewed arguments for treating housing as a human right.


No charge to attend and no reservation is necessary. Everyone is welcome from campus and community.

Visitor parking is available in the parking lots on Mountclef Boulevard north and south of Olsen Road. Street parking is by permit only Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Additional Information
The Harold Stoner Clark Lecture Series, endowed by the late Mr. Clark and sponsored by the Department of Philosophy, was established in 1985. For further information, please call 805-493-3714.

Learn More: Harold Stoner Clark Lectures

About the Program

How the Harold Stoner Clark lecture series came about through Mr. Clark's visions in science and philosophy.

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Past Lecture Series

Brief overview of over 30 archived lectures from the program, dating back to 1985.

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