Loyola University Maryland


From Serving Time to Serving Others

About the Event:

Learn from people who experienced the criminal justice system and who work to decrease recidivism rates and provide workforce development right here in Baltimore. John Huffington, Director of Living Classrooms Project SERVE, an organization that provides on-the-job training for 150 unemployed and disadvantaged young adults per year while they revitalize Baltimore neighborhoods, will be joined by John Jones and Karriem S. El-Amin, both returning citizens now employed as Case Managers for Project SERVE for a panel discussion on criminal justice reform. The panel, focusing on the criminal justice system and the challenges faced by people reentering society, will be moderated by Loyola students, followed by an open Q & A session with the audience.

Resources for Attendees:

Article: The Cradle to Prison Pipeline: An American Health Crisis
Article: Rattling the Bars: Living Classrooms
Article: Why Mass Incarceration Defines Us As a Society

Questions for Reflection and Discussion:

1. In Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson states “Between 1990 and 2005, a new prison opened in the United States every ten days…Incarceration became the answer to everything-health care problems like drug addiction, poverty that had led someone to write a bad check, child behavioral disorders, managing the mentally disabled poor, even immigration issues…” (p. 260)  Why do you think the criminal justice system has become a temporary “solution” for these societal issues?

2. “It could be argued that every person is more than the worst thing they’ve ever done,” Bryan Stevenson told the court. If we believe this quote what does it mean for us as a society?

3. Consider your biases concerning people who are currently, or have formerly been, incarcerated: how do you think you developed these biases? After reading Just Mercy or listening to the panel, how, if at all, have your biases changed?

4. What can we learn on campus and apply to the world/community beyond in terms of prison reform and the criminal justice system?


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