Page 12 - 2012 Spring Lycoming Mag

have been studying criminal justice for more
than 10 years. In that time, there are statistics
that still make me pause every time I hear
them. The United States holds 5 percent
of the world’s population and 25 percent of its
prisoners. Today, more than 2.3 million individu-
als are incarcerated in the United States. In 1970,
there were only 200,000. One in three black
men will go to prison in their lifetime; for
black men without a high school diploma,
the likelihood is one in two. Over half of
all inmates released from prison will return
within three years. 
Many people believe that these statistics
are a reflection of the crime trends that
exist in the United States. However,
I believe that these statistics
reflect a system that is badly
broken. I teach because I
want to draw students’
attention to the problems in
our criminal justice system. I
want to challenge their views
on crime and how to address
it. I want them to recognize
that how a society treats its
criminals’ says as much about
that society as it does about
those who commit crime. I teach
because I want students to realize
the power they have to make a dif-
ference, to use the knowledge that
they have learned to work toward
creating a system that is fair, just
and humane, instead of simply
perpetuating the status quo.
Kerry Richmond
Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice