Release Date: October 20, 2015
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Racially biased laws that correlate with mass incarceration and the deterioration of minority communities will be the subject of the discussion, “The Justice System and Its Effect on Race,” sponsored by the University at Buffalo’s Black Law Students Association.
When: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21.
Where: 102 O’Brian Hall, UB Law School, North Campus.
Why: To bring awareness to students of the need for criminal justice reform. “Presently, there is a large amount of minorities incarcerated for lengthy sentences for non-violent offenses,” says Philip Pierre, president of UB’s Black Law Students Association. “These harsh, extended sentences contribute to the breakdown of minority communities. Moreover, after release, individuals that served their sentences are further demonized and labeled. The stigmatizations prevent ex-offenders from obtaining employment and resources needed to reintegrate into society.
“Blocked opportunities and stigmatizations heighten the prospect of recidivism.”
Who: Panelists include UB Law School Vice Dean Luis E. Chiesa, Buffalo City Court Judge Craig D. Hannah, Buffalo State College Professor Anthony Neal and UB Deputy Chief of Police Joshua B. Sticht.
The Black Law Students Association seeks to promote diversity and the success of black law students. The BLSA also promotes awareness and the needs of the African-American community.
“Bringing awareness is the initial stride to progress,” says Pierre. “As law students, we have an interest to ensure the legal system is functioning in an impartial manner. Any deviation will lead to injustice, which contradicts the essence of the application of blind justice.
“As future leaders, we owe it to ourselves to repair a broken system.”
Pierre says Wednesday’s panel discussion hopefully will bolster race awareness in the law school, among other student groups and in the Buffalo community.
The event is free and open to the public.