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Posted April 27, 2015 by

We'd like to announce the winners of our first annual paper competition for the Samuel Shellhamer Endowed Award in Urban Studies.

The topic for 2015 was "Mass Incarceration," and students were invited to write position papers responding to the following prompt:

With more than two million people imprisoned in the country, the United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world. As the prison population of the country has quadrupled since 1980, so have the costs of incarceration, with spending on corrections increasing by 400% during the same period. Moreover, social and cultural costs of mass incarceration are borne disproportionately by the poor, people of color, and the mentally ill. Impoverished urban communities are often hardest hit by this aspect of the U.S. criminal justice system.

What, if anything, should be done about mass incarceration? Should faith-based communities – specifically Christian churches and other organizations – be involved in advocating reform? If so, why and how?

After careful consideration of all entries, CUE has named a winner and two runners up.

First prize goes to Taylor Pride, a senior Urban Studies major, for his paper,  ?Unlocking Mass Incarceration: Offenders, Immigrants and the Role of the Church Taylor will be listed in the 2015 Honors Convocation program as this year's Shellhamer Award recipient and will receive a cash prize of $300.

Two papers tied for second place. ?A Plague of Prisons: Using Public Health to Stop the Spread of Mass Incarcerat by Ian Donahoe, a senior Applied Health Science major, and ??A City for Everybody: Combatting Mass Incarceration through Affordable Housin by Hayley Woodbridge, a junior Urban Studies major. Ian and Hayley will both receive gift boxes from I Have a Bean, a co-sponsor of this year's CUE writing competition.

Many thanks to our judges. CUE Supporting Faculty member  Professor Gregory Lee was joined by  Professor David Iglesias, Director of the Wheaton Center for Faith, Politics and Economics in evaluating this year's papers.

(The Shellhamer Award is named after Dr. Samuel Shellhamer, a former Wheaton College Vice President of Student Development. Dr. Shellhamer was a supporter of the Wheaton in Chicago program who visited the WIC students every semester to learn about their experiences in the city and helped to build bridges between our off-campus program and student development.)