In collaboration with World Affairs Council of Greater Houston, Holocaust Museum Houston (HMH) will host Bill Keller, editor-in-chief of the Marshall Project and author of What’s Prison For? Punishment and Rehabilitation in the Age of Mass Incarceration, for a public lecture in its Albert and Ethel Herzstein Theater. The free event is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m.

Published in October 2022, What’s Prison For? examines the “incarceration” part of “mass incarceration.”

What happens inside prisons and jails, where nearly two million Americans are held? Keller, one of America’s most accomplished journalists, has spent years immersed in the subject. He takes us inside the walls of our prisons, where we meet men and women who have found purpose while in state custody; American corrections officials who have set out to learn from Europe’s state-of-the-art prison campuses; a rehab unit within a Pennsylvania prison, dubbed Little Scandinavia, where lifers serve as mentors; a college behind bars in San Quentin; a women’s prison that helps imprisoned mothers bond with their children; and Keller’s own classroom at Sing Sing.

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Keller is founding editor-in-chief of the Marshall Project, an independent nonprofit news organization focused on crime and punishment in the U.S. For 8 years, he was the Executive Editor of The New York Times, and during his 30 years with the Times, he also worked as a correspondent and op-ed columnist. As a foreign correspondent, he reported on the collapse of the Soviet Union, winning a Pulitzer Prize in 1989. Following Moscow, he became chief of the Times bureau in Johannesburg, covering the end of white rule in South Africa. During his eight years as executive editor, from 2003 to 2011, the Times won 18 Pulitzer Prizes.

Copies of What’s Prison For? Punishment and Rehabilitation in the Age of Mass Incarceration will be available to purchase at the event. To reserve your free ticket or learn more, visit

Holocaust Museum Houston, Lester and Sue Smith Campus, is fully bilingual in English and Spanish. Located at 5401 Caroline Street, HMH is closed Mondays except Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day and Labor Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; open Tuesdays through Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. The Museum’s Legacy Café is open during Museum hours. Admission is $22 for adults; $16 for seniors (ages 65+), AARP members and active-duty military; always free for children and students through age 18; and free to all visitors on Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Parking is available at the Museum’s adjacent lot for $8 for a four-hour period. Tickets are available exclusively online. For more information, visit