Recent News

Access to Information as a Human Right Conference Poster
Story by  originally published in UW Today
There are close to 1,400 inmates serving official or de facto life sentences in Washington state.
Originally titled, "Harsh prison sentences swell ranks of lifers and raise questions about fairness, study finds", By Deborah Bach in UW Today Stricter state sentencing laws in Washington have swelled the ranks of inmates serving life sentences to nearly one in five.
Law, Societies, and Justice Convocation Slide Show
On June 11th, the Law, Societies, and Justice program held its annual Convocation for the 2015 graduates. The celebration included a graduation ceremony where many LSJ graduates were invited to speak about their accomplishments and memories in the LSJ program. The reception afterwards was held in Grieg Garden where graduates reflected on their time in LSJ and were celebrated by their friends and family. The Class of 2015 was one of the Program’s largest, with 103 students graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Law, Societies, and Justice.
As the year comes to a close and our LSJ seniors finish up their last finals, they begin to prepare for the real world. For some of them, this means law school, for others, jobs within their desired field, and for a few more, their dream internship.
The practice and experience of punishment is one of the more pressing daily issues of human rights.  In recognition of this fact, especially in our era of mass incarceration, the Law, Societies, and Justice Program and the University of Washington Center for Human Rights (UWCHR) are joining forces on a new project, titled “Rethinking Punishment: Human Rights in an Age of Mass Incarceration.”
Huskies for Opportunities in Prison Education (H.O.P.E.) and students from LSJ hosted an outdoor art exhibit at UW in the quad to bring attention to prison reform issues and the need for prison education programs and other forms of rehabilitative justice. 
A hard-working group of current LSJ majors, alumni, faculty, and staff gathered at ROOTS Young Adult Shelter on Saturday the 25th for the Spring Day of Service. As they cleaned and prepared the shelter for the night, several students and alumni explained the importance of LSJ’s days of service to them. Candace Vig, class of 2006, said she enjoys volunteering with LSJ in particular because it gives her true insight into what is going on in her community.
NWIPR Employees
LSJ alumna Clare Morrison, class of 2014, said LSJ more than prepared her for AmeriCorps, which placed her with the Northwest Immigrants Rights Project (NWIRP) in Wenatchee, Washington where she has been working since July. AmeriCorps “engages more than 75,000 Americans in intensive service each year at nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country,” according to their website. Morrison’s yearlong position has allowed her to work with immigration policy – a passion of hers.
Can a prisoner chart a successful life course after a lengthy incarceration?  Can someone find redemption after committing a serious crime? These are amongst the questions explored in a recent radio documentary that involved LSJ Professor Katherine Beckett, current and former LSJ students, and two Canadian journalists.  The radio program, Cited, tells the story of Jeff Coats, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison at the age of 14 after he was convicted of robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder, and attempted murder.
LSJ majors filled a HUB meeting room recently to hear from alums who have built successful careers. The panelists, Liz Kent (class of 2013), Steve Yim (’06), Anica Stieve (’09), Ashley Kelmore(’01), and Glen Yaguchi (’88), offered numerous tidbits of advice and answered student questions, which ranged from how to build a winning resume to whether or not your GPA really matters.