36th Nathanson Memorial Lecture: Charles Barber and William Outlaw III

This event occurred in the past

36th Nathanson Memorial Lecture: Charles Barber and William Outlaw III

This event occurred in the past

Date and Time

  • Thursday, February 25, 2021 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.


Zoom (please register to receive the meeting link)

5998 Alcala Park San Diego, CA 92110




The USD School of Law invites you to join us for the 36th annual Nathaniel L. Nathanson Memorial Lecture Series Thursday, February 25 at Noon (pacific). Charles Barber and William Outlaw III will discuss the book Citizen Outlaw: One Man's Journey from Gangleader to Peacekeeper. 

Please register via Zoom to receive the meeting link

Charles Barber and William Juneboy Outlaw III
Citizen Outlaw: One Man's Journey from Gangleader to Peacekeeper 

12pm - Welcome and Introductions
12:05pm - Lecture
12:40pm - Q&A and Discussion
12:55pm - Closing Remarks

Citizen Outlaw: One Man's Journey from Gangleader to Peacekeeper – Book Excerpt

When he was in his early 20s, William Juneboy Outlaw III was sentenced to 85 years in prison for homicide and armed assault. The sentence brought his brief but prolific criminal career as the head of a forty-member cocaine gang in New Haven, Connecticut, to a close. But behind bars, Outlaw quickly became a feared prison “shot caller” with 150 men under his sway.

Then everything changed: his original sentence was reduced by 60 years. At the same time, he was shipped to a series of the most notorious federal prisons in the country, where he endured long stints in solitary confinement—and where transformational relationships with a fellow inmate and a prison therapist made him realize that he wanted more for himself.

Upon his release, Outlaw took a job at Dunkin’ Donuts, volunteered in the New Haven community, and started to rebuild his life. He now is an award-winning community advocate, leading a team of former felons who negotiate truces between gangs on the very streets that he once terrorized. The homicide rate in New Haven has dropped 70 percent in the decade that he’s run the team—a drop as dramatic as in any city in the country.

Written with exclusive access to Outlaw himself, Charles Barber’s Citizen Outlaw is the unforgettable story of how a gang leader became the catalyst for one of the greatest civic crime reductions in America, and an inspiring argument for love and compassion in the face of insurmountable odds.

About William Juneboy Outlaw III

William Outlaw is an award-winning community advocate in New Haven. He co-directs the Connecticut Violence Interruption Project, which seeks to reduce youth violence in New Haven, and is also a Senior Community Advocate at Good Will where he helps returning prisoners reenter the community.

As a young man, William was a violence creator, as opposed to a violence interrupter. As a teenager, he co-ran the largest cocaine gang in New Haven and was making a million dollars a year. In his early twenties, he was sentenced to 85 years in prison for homicide and armed assault. However, his original sentence was modified after an appeal to the Connecticut Superior Court, and he ended up serving 20 years. In the first part of his prison odyssey he was incorrigible and placed in the most notorious federal prisons in the country, including nine months in solitary confinement in Kansas.

Transformed by his relationship with a therapist and a desire to redeem his old life, Outlaw was released and returned to New Haven in 2008. He got a job at Dunkin Donuts and has since dedicated himself to mentoring young people and promoting non-violence.

About Charles Barber

Charles Barber is a Writer in Residence at Wesleyan University and a Lecturer in Psychiatry at Yale. In addition to Citizen Outlaw, he is the author of Songs from the Black Chair, a memoir, and Comfortably Numb: How Psychiatry is Medicating a Nation. He has written widely on mental health and criminal justice issues in popular and scholarly publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Salon, The Nation and Scientific American Mind. He was educated at Harvard and Columbia.

As a criminal justice researcher at The Connection Institute, he co-designed a study funded by the Department of Justice involving the hiring of former prisoners as counselors in a halfway house. The intervention resulted in dramatically lower criminal recidivism and was named the Outstanding Criminal Justice Program in the Northeast by the National Criminal Justice Association.

Charles and William met weekly for five years to create Citizen Outlaw.


  • About the Nathaniel L. Nathanson Memorial Lecture Series

    This lecture series was established in 1984 to honor Nathaniel L. Nathanson, an esteemed law professor who devoted his life to the law and legal education. The series brings distinguished speakers to the University of San Diego to discuss issues of national significance.

    Nathanson, a graduate of Yale University, Yale Law School and Harvard Law School, served as law clerk to the Honorable Julian Mack of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, as well as to the Honorable Louis D. Brandeis of the Supreme Court of the United States. He taught law at Northwestern University School of Law from 1936 to 1977, where he was named professor emeritus. That same year, he was named a distinguished professor of law at the University of San Diego. He spent alternate semesters at the two law schools until his death in 1983. Also receiving the benefit of his wisdom were Stanford University, Rutgers University, the University of Washington, Arizona State University and the University of Tokyo.

    Nathanson was best known for his work in the areas of administrative law, constitutional law, civil liberties, international law and human rights. In these and other areas, he authored or served as editor of seven books and published almost 100 major articles, reviews and papers. He continued to pursue these interests through service to government, the American Society of Legal Studies, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Constitutional Convention of Palau, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.

    The University of San Diego greatly benefited from the presence of this eminent professor and is pleased to present this lecture series in his memory.

  • Selected Media Coverage

    J​uneboy Hits the Big Time, New Haven Independent, November 15, 2019

    From Poverty To Incarceration To Redemption​, WNPR, November 14, 2019



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