peace & justice commission

SLU initiative at jail removes barriers to success

Joseph Jones, a maintenance technician at the St. Louis Medium Security Institution, stopped by a McDonald's for lunch Nov. 8 to find one of the graduates of the St. Louis University Transformative Justice Initiative working there. He'd heard about her success in being productive and staying sober since being released from the institution.

School suspensions seen as part of ‘pipeline’ to prison

Billy Harris calls himself a homesteader in Normandy where he grows his own food and tends chickens and ducks. Billy Harris grew up in southwest Missouri and was incarcerated for his participation in the beating of a man to death when he was 16. He now lives in Normandy and works as a youth justice advocate after seeing first hand what is known as the school to prison pipeline.

Billy Harris grew up in southwest Missouri and started getting into trouble with the law at age 14, receiving unsupervised probation for providing a license plate to his half-brother after he escaped from jail. Harris said that he didn't learn anything from the encounter with the criminal justice system, and no one seemed to take an interest in his future.

God is Calling

Thomasina Clarke, left, conducted an audition with Patrice Mari for the play “Growing up Catholic: What’s Race Got To Do With It?” The audition was held at St. Alphonsus Liguori “Rock” Church and the play will be performed Oct. 14 and 15 at St. Louis University.

After the death of Michael Brown in 2014, shot in a confrontation with a police officer, Josh Meister had an awakening.

"The situation opened my eyes to the fact that there's still a lot of racial tension and I didn't really realize it," Meister said.

Fast forward three years to the not guilty verdict of former St. Louis Police Officer Jason Stockley — a white officer charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death in 2011 of Anthony Lamar Smith, a known drug dealer who was black. Meister realized it was time to put his faith into action.

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