Signs of the Times #31: Rethinking Crime and Justice ft. Susan Sharpe, Ph.D.

What are the causes and costs of criminal behavior? How are people and communities affected by incarceration? How can we make our criminal justice system as good as it can be for all stakeholders? Susan Sharpe, Restorative Justice Advisor at the Center for Social Concerns, teaches a course called Rethinking Crime and Justice that explores questions such as these and more within the realm of our criminal justice system. The course uses the Inside-Out pedagogical model in which students from a college campus take a course with incarcerated people inside a prison. Susan discusses how the focus on incarceration as a solution to the problem of crime is in some ways not only inadequate, but also destructive and profoundly harmful. In her work she explores the need to step back from the policies, laws, and systems we’ve developed and examine what real justice actually calls for.