New program at SHSU aims to address inequities

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (KTRK) -- A new program at Sam Houston State University (SHSU) will address inequities and reform in the criminal justice system.

Beginning this fall, the SHSU College of Criminal Justice will offer its new criminal justice equity and inclusion minor.

The program will consist of three core classes and three electives where students will explore social justice issues, discrimination, bias and stereotypes.

SHSU College of Criminal Justice Professor Holly Miller, who led the effort, said the program has been in the works since 2016.

"We're seeing on the news all of the Black Americans and people of color in our nation that were being killed by law-enforcement, like Michael Brown, Dante Parker, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray etc., and as our college is one of the biggest in the country and within Texas - we educate about 25 percent of the individuals in law-enforcement in the state," Miller said. "We do know that there are some significant issues, and it is our responsibility as professors to do the best that we can in educating our students to handle things differently. How they understand others, how they accept others, and to do a better job, I think, at communication and just understanding humans."

Miller hopes the program will lead students to bring reform and improve equity in the criminal justice system.

The college plans to offer a criminal justice equity and inclusion certificate program geared toward students and criminal justice professionals in fall 2021.

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