Elizabeth Hinton is a historian of American inequality who is considered one of the nation’s leading experts on policing and mass incarceration. Hinton’s past and current scholarship provides a deeper grasp of the persistence of poverty, urban violence, and racial inequality in the United States. She is Associate Professor of History and African American Studies at Yale University and Professor of Law at Yale Law School.
In her book From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America (Harvard University Press, 2016), Hinton examines the implementation of federal law enforcement programs beginning in the mid-1960s that transformed domestic social policies and laid the groundwork for the expansion of the U.S. prison system. In revealing the links between the rise of the American carceral state and earlier anti-poverty programs, Hinton presents Ronald Reagan’s War on Drugs not as a sharp policy departure but rather as the full realization of a shift towards surveillance and confinement that began during the Johnson administration. From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime changed the way we understand the rise of mass incarceration and has received numerous awards and recognition, including the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize from the Phi Beta Kappa Society, being named to the New York Times’s 100 Notable Books of 2016, a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, A Wall Street Journal Favorite Book of the Year, a Publishers Weekly Favorite Book of the Year, and a Choice Outstanding Title of the Year.
Considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the history of criminalization and mass incarceration, Hinton is often called upon to share her expertise on matters related to crime control policy, law enforcement, and racism. She has worked with the National Network for Safe Communities, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Vera Institute of Justice, and other law enforcement and crime control institutions at all levels to broaden the terms of debate and inform effective policy choices. Hinton’s articles and op-eds can be found in the pages of the Journal of American History, the Journal of Urban History, The New York Times, The Atlantic, The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Review, The Nation, and Time. In addition to numerous public lectures across the United States, Hinton’s radio and television appearances include The Takeaway, On the Media, The Open Mind, C-SPAN Book TV, and C-SPAN’s After Words. She also co-edited The New Black History: Revisiting the Second Reconstruction (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) with the late historian Manning Marable.
Before joining the Yale faculty, Hinton was a Professor of History and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. After receiving her Ph.D. in United States History from Columbia University in 2013, Hinton spent two years as a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Michigan Society of Fellows and Assistant Professor in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan. Her research has received support from the Ford Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Hinton, E. (2019, June 3). How the ‘Central Park Five’ Changed the History of American Law. Stolyar, L., Hinton, E., Singer, N., & Rudowitz, R. (2020, December 1). Growth in Medicaid MCO Enrollment during the COVID-19 Pandemic. KFF.