The Searchlight Series

The Searchlight Series

Eastern State Penitentiary Presents
The Searchlight Series:
Conversations About Crime, Justice, and the American Prison System


Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site partners with nationally recognized penologists and educators to present an ongoing discussion series about crime, justice, and the American prison system. The Searchlight Series discussions take place the first Tuesday of every month, free and open to the public. No reservations required. The 2015 schedule is as follows:

Tuesday, January 6
Tuesday, February 3
Tuesday, March 3
Tuesday, April 7
Tuesday, May 5
Tuesday, June 2
Tuesday, July 7
Tuesday, August 4
Tuesday, September 1
Tuesday, October 6
Tuesday, November 3
Tuesday, December 1

Discussion topics and speakers listed below. (Some topics TBA.) Click here for a list of last year's discussions.


Betty Jean Thompson: The Impact of Incarceration Upon Families and Communities

Betty Jean ThompsonTuesday, January 6, 6:00 - 7:00 pm
Free. No reservations required.

The mother of a formerly incarcerated man, Ms. Thompson will use excerpts from her book A Small Candlelight to explore the impact of mass incarceration on communities.

She will discuss “realistic healing approaches” to help incarcerated and formerly incarcerated individuals, their families, and their communities to “minimize the oppressive nature of Incarceration.”

Leslie Guy: Finding Our Way

Tuesday, February 3, 6:00 - 7:00 pm
Free. No reservations required.

Leslie Guy at Eastern State Penitentiary Searchlight SeriesMuseums are often seen as places that exhibit and preserve historical art and artifacts. Yet some museums are establishing their role as a forum for the critical dialogues of today.

Leslie Guy, Director of Curatorial Services at the African American Museum in Philadelphia, will discuss the museum’s accomplishments and continuing challenges in telling stories that address contemporary human rights issues.

The Searchlight Series is supported in part by a grant from The George W. Rentschler Foundation.