Thomas Hagan

Thomas Hagan

University of Chicago

Ulster University, Belfast (UUB)

Philosophy

Thomas “Tommy” Hagan, a resident of Chicago, obtained is BA in Philosophy from the University of Chicago. For the past decade, he has entered prisons and jails on a weekly basis to build community with incarcerated people. Two years ago, Tommy, along with two friends who were previously incarcerated, launched the REAL Youth Initiative, which conducts weekly workshops at three juvenile prisons and robust community reentry programs that include paid fellowships and care networks. As a member of the Coalition to Decarcerate Illinois, Tommy has helped put pressure on the EPA regarding violations of the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act in prisons across the state. At Northwestern Law School’s Children and Family Justice Center, he was the co-lead of a campaign which seeks to close the five remaining Illinois youth prisons.  Tommy has run several marathons to raise money for a variety of causes. An Irish American, Tommy and learned from his grandparents about the experience of cousins who were incarcerated in Long Kesh and the H Blocks in the 1980s, as well as recently learning that one of his relatives died on the 1981 Hunger Strike.  Interested in comparing prison systems, Tommy will study Peace & Conflict Studies at Ulster University.