Judith Resnik, founding director of the Arthur Liman Center for Public Interest Law at Yale Law School, has been named a member of the 2018 class of Andrew Carnegie fellows. Resnik is among 31 recipients of the two-year grant researching and writing about pressing contemporary issues.

Yale Law School Professor Judith Resnik

Resnik said her fellowship will culminate in a book about prison sentencing. The question of punishment “is not, of course, new,” the author stated in a release, “but what happens after sentencing and in prison has not been much in focus.”

Resnik will trace the transnational history of prison reform and analyze individual cases that helped prisoners gain recognition as rights holders. The project will analyze how obligations of democratic states toward people in and out of prison are forged, and why the debilitation that many prison systems impose is beyond what governments should be able to inflict as punishment for crimes.

“I am thrilled that Judith Resnik’s important scholarship has been recognized by the Andrew Carnegie Fellowship,” said Yale Law School Dean Heather Gerken. “I look forward to seeing what brilliant work she will produce in the coming years.”

This project reflects the central concerns of Resnik’s study of the impact of democratic norms on government services; the relationships of states to individuals; the forms and norms of federalism; and equality and gender.

Resnik teaches courses on courts, the structures of dispute resolution, federalism, incarceration, equality, prisons and citizenship. In addition to being the founding director of the Liman Center for Public Interest Law, she also chairs Yale Law School’s Global Constitutionalism Seminar, a part of the Gruber Program on Global Justice and Women’s Rights. She is also the editor of its six e-volumes, including “Reconstituting Constitutional Orders” (2017).

This year, the Liman Center held its 21st Liman Colloquium, titled “Who Pays? Fines, Fees, Bail, and the Cost of Courts.” The center has also worked with the Association of State Correctional Administrators for a series of reports on solitary confinement.