Seidenberg Prize Papers Received

Twenty-six papers were submitted for the Seidenberg Prize to be awarded to the two best papers on a psychoanalytic perspective on problems within prisons that affect the mental health of prisoners and of guards. The prize attracted global interest, with submissions coming from Argentina, Denmark, Ecuador, England, Israel, Italy, and Peru as well as around the U.S.


Submissions will be judged by a panel that includes: Prudence Gourguechon, MD, chair, Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis faculty member and past president of the American Psychoanalytic Association; Chicago Institute Dean Neal Spira, MD, and Marie Rudden, MD, of the Berkshire Psychoanalytic Institute.


Two prize winners will be informed in mid-May. The winners will be recognized at the American Psychoanalytic Association annual meeting in Chicago in June.


The prize is named in honor of former dean of the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, the late Henry Seidenberg. It grew out of a pro-bono class action suit to improve treatment for mentally ill inmates in Illinois prisons. The case, Rasho v. Walker, requires Illinois Department of Corrections to provide adequate mental health care to 11,000 mentally ill prisoners.


The class-action suit was filed in 2007 as a result of service cuts in state prisons, according to Prison Legal News. The IDOC settled in May 2016, committing to invest $40 million to build facilities for mentally ill inmates and an additional $40 million for staff to provide services. In honor of the Rasho settlement, Institute Board member Harold Hirshman of Dentons Law Firm, who helped lead the class action suit, contributed the funds for the Seidenberg Prize.

Seidenberg Prize, research