Career Gear was very happy to play a small role in the amazing Certificate Conferral Ceremony for the Inside Criminal Justice seminar-style college course that was created by the Institute for Innovation in Prosecution (IIP) at the John Jay College for Criminal Justice. Those involved in the ceremony included Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance and New York State Acting Commissioner of the Department of Correction and Community.
As the co-chair of the board of directors at Career Gear, we would like to thank IIP Director Lucy Lang for providing us the opportunity to help the program's participants look and feel their best. Career Gear is a nonprofit that helps men from underserved communities enter or reenter the workforce to help them make a positive contribution to their families and communities.
IIP provides a collaborative national platform that brings together prosecutors, policy experts, and the communities they serve to promote data-driven strategies, cutting-edge scholarship, and innovative thinking. The IIP is dedicated to criminal justice that promotes community-centered standards of safety, fairness, and dignity.
Inside Criminal Justice is a seminar-style college course in which prosecutors and incarcerated students study together inside prisons. The original model follows a six-week semester and uses a curriculum designed by Columbia University Psychology Professor Geraldine Downey. The course is intended to encourage in-depth and respectful conversation about the criminal justice system, culminating in jointly-authored policy proposals. The objective is to think together about a justice system that emphasizes public safety while supporting healthy development from birth to old age and makes engaged citizenship possible for everyone.
The course is concluded with a graduation ceremony where students present the jointly- drafted policy proposals for improving the criminal justice system they prepared for their final projects. To support the graduates, the ceremony brings together both student populations, their friends and family, prison administrators, and criminal justice policy makers who are capable of enacting the proposals students have worked on during the semester.