Criminal Justice

With the help of Columbia's Justice-in-Education Initiative and a determined dean, Leyla Martinez is graduating with a bachelor's degree in human rights.

Columbia University has received nearly three million dollars in grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through its program in Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities.

Vincent Schiraldi sits at his desk and holds a pair of glasses

Photo by John Pinderhughes

Perhaps it was the 12 years of Catholic school, with its expectations that students reach out to underserved communities, but Vincent Schiraldi always knew that he wanted to help pe

Richard Gamarra

When Richard Gamarra was 16, a gun fell out of his backpack during class at a Catholic high school in Queens and he was arrested.

Flores Forbes Columbia University Community Affairs

Photo by Eileen Barroso

Flores Forbes is an urban planner who focuses on economic development in Columbia's local community, particularly Harlem.
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As the country mourned 49 deaths in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history and wondered what could have been done to prevent the tragedy, Democrats and Republicans introduced gun-safety measures in the Senate.

Columbia is among a group of colleges and universities working to improve access to higher education for those with a criminal record.
For Samuel Roberts, all of New York City is his classroom. Students taking his seminar on the history of race and mass incarceration go to see holding cells and talk to people awaiting arraignment in the five boroughs.
Christia Mercer Columbia University

For 20 weeks over the spring and summer, philosophy professor Christia Mercer commuted 40 miles north of Morningside Heights to teach Literature Humanities at Taconic Correctional Facility.

The seminar in 401 Hamilton Hall focused on classic literary texts, including Homer’s Odyssey, Shakespeare’s Othello, and W.E.B. Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk. But this was no ordinary summer school class, and its students were not traditional collegians.

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