“The High Costs of Low Risk” report by The Osborne Association

Osborne Announces “The High Costs of Low Risk: The Crisis of America’s Aging Prison Population”

 

In The High Costs of Low Risk: The Crisis of America’s Aging Prison Population, the Osborne Association recommends immediate steps to stem the rapid growth of Americans aging – and dying –  behind bars and reduce the roadblocks older people face returning to society.

Even as crime is at national lows and 36 states have reduced imprisonment rates, the number of older adults in prison, many of whom require specialized medical care for age-related illnesses, has only continued to grow. By 2030, people over 50 will make up one-third of the US prison population, putting an unsustainable pressure on the justice system as a whole.

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL REPORT

 

Daily News features Justice In Education Scholar Leyla Martinez

Leyla set to graduate from Columbia University inspires her son to apply to college

Justice in Education Scholars Receive 2018 Change Agent Award

The School of General Studies Student Leadership Awards are given to individuals that have distinguished themselves with their dedication to leadership and service to the School of General Studies and/or the Columbia University community.

2018 Change Agent Award is in its inaugural year and is given to a very select group of GS students who have made outstanding contributions through their dedication to equity, inclusion, and social justice to the School of General Studies and the Columbia University Community.

GS Student Leadership Awards Dinner on the evening of Tuesday, May 1 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Rotunda of Low Library.

 

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT STUDENT LEADERSHIP AWARDS AT THE SCHOOL OF GENERAL STUDIES

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO LEYLA MARTINEZ AND ISAAC SCOTT

 

Leyla Martinez is a first-generation student at Columbia’s School of General Studies, where she is a senior majoring in Human Rights. She is also the President/Founder of the Beyond the Box Initiative (BTB), which is an organization for current and prospective students who have been directly or indirectly impacted by mass incarceration. Ms. Martinez has spoken at different Law Schools around the country about the effects of incarceration on women, children and communities. She has also been invited to speak on panel discussions at The White House, Google, UCLA, YouTube, Columbia University and more. Leyla is a member of the first Justice in Education (JIE) cohort and the first JIE Scholar to be accepted into Columbia University. She is a Program for Academic Leadership and Service Scholar, Gilman Scholar, Joey O’Loughlin Scholar, Mother’s Day Scholar, Women’s Forum Education Fund Fellow, Beyond the Bars Fellow, Earth Institute Center for Environmental Sustainability Fellow and Women’s Independence Scholar.

 

 

 

Isaac Scott is a formerly incarcerated artist and activist. As the Program Director for The Confined Arts, he is a leader in promoting justice reform and prison abolition through the transformative power of the arts. Since returning to society, he’s combined fine art and graphic design with his passion for the arts to accomplish goals that could not have been achieved without such a socially valued means of expression. Isaac’s passion for equal human rights runs deep as a result of being directly affected by the criminal justice system and its disenfranchising nature. ​Today, Isaac is studying film and media at the Columbia University School of General Studies and is the Arts and Communications Coordinator at the Center for Justice at Columbia University. His work includes research, public speaking, and managing the center’s public outreach. Isaac is studying filmmaking to pursue his ambitions for producing content that honestly represents the true lived narratives of stigmatized people. He believes that art, in every form, is  effective in changing perceptions and conquering stigma. Through lived experience, Isaac personally understands the need for realistic representations of individuals like himself, who’ve been convicted of a crime in the past. Isaac also understands the healing power of the arts; it’s influential enough to transform both the artist and the audience. He is now in a position to assist those artists following behind him and to use his creativity in many ways to continue educating and promoting change.

Center for Justice Director, Geraldine Downey Receives Presidential Awards for Outstanding Teaching by Faculty

The Presidential Teaching Awards were established in 1996 as a way to honor the University’s best teachers. They are conferred based on the original criteria for the awards for faculty and graduate student instructors. To receive this award is a great honor, as it demonstrates commitment to excellent and often innovative teaching as recognized by the entire Columbia community. Click on the menu links at left to learn more about the selection process and eligibility criteria for the faculty and graduate student instructor awards.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

“TO EXAMINE SOCIETY AND TRY TO CHANGE IT” BY JUSTICE IN EDUCATION PROFESSOR NICOLE CALLAHAN

A Columbia University course serving formerly incarcerated men and women is grounded in an understanding of the powerful meliorative effects of education.

take a seat near the middle of the table at 6:06 p.m. The room soon fills, students clutching coffee, shedding coats; someone brings gummy worms and sends them around the table. At 6:10, everyone has arrived. It is time to begin. Our space on the sixth floor of Columbia University’s Philosophy Hall is long and narrow and dominated by a table that seats 12, leaving 5 students to sit around the periphery with books on their laps. Our community rule is to switch seats every class, preventing a hierarchy from forming between table regulars and the rest.

 

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE

HUMANITIES BEHIND BARS

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS FOR INCARCERATED YOUTH ON RIKERS ISLAND

Humanities New York sits down with Josie Whittlesey of Drama Club and Cameron Rasmussen and Ryan Burvick from the “Beats, Rhymes and Justice” program. They discuss the Action Grant-supported projects they offer to incarcerated youth (men and women under the age of 21) on Rikers Island…

 

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE

 

Op-Ed from Bruce Western and Bernard Harcourt on Parole Reform and the Case of Herman Bell

Columbia Law Professor Bernard Harcourt and Columbia Justice Lab Director and Professor of Criminal Justice Policy at Harvard University Bruce Western co-wrote an op-ed in the Daily News on the case for parole reform and the case of Herman Bell.

Harcourt and Western write “New York’s new parole rules bring the state more into line with international standards and acknowledge a reality uncovered by criminologists. Criminal offending declines with age, and virtually all people convicted of crimes ultimately cease their involvement in crime at some point in their lives. With very long prison sentences, we inevitably incarcerate people who pose no risk to society.

Just as important as the research evidence, the new parole rules acknowledge that unending terms of incarceration do too little to heal the pain of communities and families harmed by serious violence. The new parole rules express a belief that debts can be paid, and those who have caused terrible pain to others, like Bell, are nevertheless worthy of redemption.”

You can read the full article on the Daily News site here:

Why Should We Keep Murderers in Prison Until They Die? 

You can also read more about our work on parole reform from our report Aging in Prison: Reducing Elder Incarceration and Promoting Public Safety.

 

From Human Justice to Healing Justice, a report from H.O.L.L.A!’s Youth Organizing Collective

MARCH 12, 2018BLOGPOSTS

 

From Human Justice to Healing Justice: A Non-Traditional Approach to Youth and Community Development and Healing

In this report, H.O.L.L.A!’s Youth Organizing Collective outlines who we are, what legacies we stand on, lessons we learned from our movement praxis, and we believe are critical for sustaining a daily practice of Healing and Justice…

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL REPORT

Beyond the Bars 2018 Recap! Videos, Photos and More

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 8th annual Beyond the Bars Conference, this year focusing on the efforts to close jails and prisons.  We are continually humbled by the strength and diversity of the movement to end mass incarceration and mass criminalization and are thankful to all of those who spent the weekend with us, and to the many who tuned in via livestream.  Below are a number of things from the conference to check out!

Videos!

Photos!

Programs 

Meet the 2017-18 Beyond the Bars Fellows