New York Times Op-Ed from Dr. Carl Hart, Chair, Department of Psychology

The Real Opioid Emergency

 

Every Friday evening, with sadness and with pride, I make a 90-minute trek from Columbia University to Sing Sing Correctional Facility to teach a drugs and behavior course. My students, who are bright and predominantly black, enthusiastically engage with the curriculum, not least because some of them have a personal stake in the subject. Several are serving time for a drug-related offense, as are hundreds of thousands of other Americans….

 

Read Full Article in New York Times

 

March for Justice

Join our partners at Alliance of Families for Justice

 

The March for Justice is an undertaking by the Alliance of Families for Justice–NY (AFJ-NY) to bring attention to human rights abuses in New York State prisons and jails. The March will start in New York City on August 26, 2017, and culminate in a press conference and rally in Albany on Sept. 13, 2017, the anniversary of the 1971 Attica uprising and massacre. Read the March for Justice Executive Summary.

Tentative March Schedule
Some towns will change–final route will be posted here soon
* means confirmed:

Day 1, Sat. August 26: Harlem*→Bronx*
National Black Theatre, Harlem, NY. Get flyer.
Day 2, Sun., August 27: Bronx*→Yonkers*
Day 3, Mon., August 28: Yonkers*→White Plains*
Day 4, Tues., August 29: White Plains*→Tarrytown*
Day 5, Weds., August 30: Tarrytown*→Ossining*
Day 6, Thurs., August 31: Ossining*→Peekskill*

 

Click here to see the entire March Schedule 

 

 

Justice in Education Scholar Topeka Sam writes her first Op-Ed as 2017 Soros Fellow

It’s Time to Overhaul America’s Broken Probation and Parole Systems

July 13, 2017   Topeka K. Sam

 

I was released from prison two years and two months ago. Since then, I have been working to improve the lives of formerly incarcerated women and men.

I’ve received fellowships from Beyond the Bars and the Open Society Foundations, and was named a Justice in Education Scholar at Columbia University. I founded the Ladies of Hope Ministries, which helps women and girls transition from prison back into society through education, entrepreneurship, and advocacy. I am establishing Hope House, a re-entry housing development for women and girls. As a founding member and national organizer of the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls, I have crisscrossed the country organizing council chapters and creating symposiums at law schools nationwide.

 

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE

Cheryl Wilkins Gives Keynote Speech at Washington Women’s Prison Graduation

 

‘You go, girl!’: Joy, tears as 19 Washington prison inmates earn college degrees

Senior Director of Education and Programs, Cheryl Wilkins on Higher Education in prison

This Former Inmate Is Fighting for Every Prisoner’s Right to a College Degree

 

Story by 
Photos by Laura Baker

 

As Cheryl Wilkins accepted her college diploma, hundreds of women screamed her name and whooped with joy. They were so loud that Wilkins’ brother, sitting with his four-year-old daughter, couldn’t hear the girl cheering, “Auntie! Auntie!” Other family members were even more enthusiastic. When another woman’s name was called, her six-year-old daughter grabbed her hand and dragged her to the stage. “Come on Mama, get your degree!” Wilkins remembers the girl shouting. “Her daughter took the diploma and walked off the stage with it.”

 

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE

Opening Minds Behind Bars: The Justice in Education Initiative featured in the Columbia Magazine

What happens when you bring college classes to incarcerated men and women?

by James S. Kunen ’70CC Published Summer 2017

If you’ve ever glanced out the window of a plane flying into or out of LaGuardia Airport, you’ve seen Rikers Island. The flat strip of land, strikingly treeless, sits in the East River between Queens and the Bronx. With its clusters of long, low buildings, Rikers could be some sort of warehouse and distribution center, where tractor-trailers back up to bays to be loaded or unloaded. But there are no trucks. What is warehoused here is people — about 7,500 on any given day — detained by the New York City Department of Correction. Most of them, accused but not yet convicted of crimes, have been waiting months and even years for their day in court. Others have been found guilty and sentenced to a year or less in jail….

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE IN THE COLUMBIA MAGAZINE

Restore Voting Rights in Florida

Florida is one of only four states that denies the right to vote to all former felons until they petition for rights restoration – this process is the target of our lawsuit. About 1.6 million Floridians are currently disenfranchised under this system—the highest state total in the nation.This includes men and women of all different political parties, races, ethnicities, ages, from cities and rural areas, as well as veterans, small business owners and others…

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE AND SEE HOW YOU CAN HELP

The Center for Justice welcomes Cristiana Grigore and the Roma Digital Archive

CHAMPIONING A FORGOTTEN PEOPLE GROUP – THE ROMA PEOPLE

BY CRISTIANA GRIGORE

The Roma people are the largest ethnic minority in Europe and unfortunately the most discriminated. They migrated from the Northern side of India about a thousand years ago and never found a place in the world. They are spread all over Europe and other parts of the world. The Roma people are more commonly known as gypsies…

 

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE AND WATCH A SHORT VIDEO AT COLUMBIA YOU

Make your commitment: Contributing to criminal justice reform

 

How can teaching Plato in prisons teach us what justice is? 

Plato’s Republic begins with Athenians asking: what is justice? Now, through the Justice-in-Education initiative, Columbia faculty and students look for answers in a setting that goes well beyond the theoretical, reading dizzying Socratic dialogues with currently or formerly incarcerated students…

Click here to read full article at Giving to Columbia and make a gift to contribute to criminal justice reform.

 


 

Geraldine Downey

My commitment: Contributing to criminal justice reform

When I finished my BS in Dublin, I was working on a project with kids on probation. I became interested in why some kids became violent as adolescents, which led me to look at their families and communities. There was a significant association between kids being abused or neglected, coming from a very disadvantaged area, and ending up as violent juvenile delinquents. I then grew curious about how different forms of maltreatment communicate a sense of rejection…

Click here to read full article at Giving to Columbia and make a gift to contribute to criminal justice reform.