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justice, equity, rightness

Search for truth and justice through evidence in the public sphere.

Co-Directors: Dr. Ken Parker, Theology, Dr. Norm Conti, Sociology


Students will come to understand how human rights and obligations are entailed by justice and will explore and debate the socially significant question of sentencing reform; the complexity of truth and justice in an age of diversity; how to substantiate a claim of public evidence, focusing on truth and justice; the role of citizen in the quest for truth and justice; and the question of reconciliation and restorative justice.

Note: This Learning Community holds select off-campus meetings at the nearby Allegheny County Jail, some or all of which may be cancelled due to COVID-19 precautionary measures.

Fall 2022

EQ 118C Whose Humanity Matters? (TR 9:25am) Dr. Ken Parker (Theology)

There is perhaps no question that appears to have a more obvious answer: Everyone's humanity matters! But do we actually behave toward others in ways that affirm that truth? This course will explore this question through the lens of incarceration practices, historically and in our own times. Through examinations of anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, and racist theologies that have been used to justify the incarceration and lynching of African-Americans in this country, we will consider ways in which Christianity has been distorted to justification dehumanizing, imprisoning, and killing people who have been pushed to the margins of society. A re-examination of the Christian scriptures will identify why a true understanding of the Christian faith affirms the human dignity of every person.

SOCI 103C Intro. to Criminal Justice (TR 10:50am) Dr. Norm Conti (Sociology)

This course focuses on the various processing stages, practices, and personnel of the criminal justice system. This course examines the problem of crime in American society and the administrative responses to this issue. Both historical and contemporary components of the system including the police, the courts, and the corrections field, are explored. This course is designed to provide the student with a broad social psychological understanding of both the effects of crime on community structures and the challenges of the criminal justice system faces in responding to crime in our contemporary society. Part of our method for achieving as complete an understanding of the criminal justice system involves taking the course off the bluff and into the Allegheny County Jail.



Dr. Conti teaching in the Allegheny County JailDr. Norman Conti teaching Introduction to Criminal Justice to "outside" (JUSTITIA) and "inside" (incarcerated) students