The Louisville Cardinal U of L's Independent Student Newspaper 2018-10-20T00:32:09Z https://www.louisvillecardinal.com/feed/atom/ WordPress https://www.louisvillecardinal.com/media/2016/05/cropped-lc-logo-1-32x32.png Joseph Garcia <![CDATA[Preventing Senioritis by setting yourself up for success]]> https://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=63023 2018-10-20T00:32:09Z 2018-10-20T00:32:08Z By Rachel Colangelo — Senioritis seems like a phenomenon only high school seniors face. However, being so close to graduation, with only a few classes left until freedom, the urge to skip class and sleep in grows stronger by the time you become a college senior. In my years at the University of Louisville, I […]

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By Rachel Colangelo —

Senioritis seems like a phenomenon only high school seniors face. However, being so close to graduation, with only a few classes left until freedom, the urge to skip class and sleep in grows stronger by the time you become a college senior.

In my years at the University of Louisville, I have picked up a few tips and tricks to surviving all four(+) years of college.

  1. Take your Gen. Ed courses seriously!

My freshman year schedule was filled with basic lectures and introduction courses I needed to progress higher in my major. While many of these classes were basically high school refresher courses, I forget the impact they have on my GPA. Neglecting the attendance policy, missing small assignments and not studying for “easy” tests was a lesson I wish I had never learned.

Save yourself the headache now and get ahead in the beginning.

  1. See your academic advisor FOR YOUR MAJOR.

Do not just speak with your internal college advisor because sometimes they do not have the same extensive knowledge as your major’s advisors do. Not seeing your specific major’s advisor can mean taking unnecessary classes, retaking classes and possibly not being able to graduate on time.

  1. Have one day a week where you do not have any classes.

There are many reasons why this free day can be beneficial, but the most prominent is that it gives me time to rest and catch up on homework. It also gave me a day that I was guaranteed able to work. Being a full-time student and finding time for a job can be extremely stressful, especially when you have to do it all in one day. Going from class-to-homework-to-work-to-homework-again isn’t a walk in the park.

Allowing yourself one day of minimal stress can be good for your mind, body and GPA.

 

If you follow these tips your case of senioritis could be slightly more manageable than those around you. The struggle is real, but you can make it easier by setting yourself up for success right from the beginning.

Graphic by Shayla Kerr / The Louisville Cardinal

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Maggie Vancampen <![CDATA[Author Matt Ridley “lights up” the room with optimism]]> https://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=63373 2018-10-19T16:11:18Z 2018-10-19T16:11:16Z By Maggie Vancampen — Despite the power outage that affected campus, Wednesday, Oct. 10, author Matt Ridley delivered a presentation titled “Optimism and Innovation” to an audience of about 50 in the College of Business. Ridley was the second presenter of the Center for Free Enterprise’s fall speaker series, and he said the world isn’t […]

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By Maggie Vancampen —

Despite the power outage that affected campus, Wednesday, Oct. 10, author Matt Ridley delivered a presentation titled “Optimism and Innovation” to an audience of about 50 in the College of Business.

Ridley was the second presenter of the Center for Free Enterprise’s fall speaker series, and he said the world isn’t as bad as it seems.

“We could have had a headline in the newspaper this morning: ‘137,000 people lifted out of poverty yesterday.’ It would have been true the day before. We never talk about this.” Ridley said.

Ridley said while upsetting events often happen in an instant, happy stories take time to develop.

“Good news is gradual while bad news is sudden,” he said.

Ridley used the feeling of happiness as an example.

“It used to be thought that the richer people got, the less happier they got,” Ridley said.

He said the study that spurred this belief was based on a bad sample. When a larger sample size was interviewed about their finances and happiness levels, the results pointed to an increase in happiness when wealth was also increased.

“Compared to our ancestors, we live like kings,” Ridley said.

He said inequality between countries is going down faster than we expect, especially compared to the financial crisis. Countries previously thought of as poverty-stricken are seeing a rising economy, while developed countries are leveling themselves.

“We have a tendency to redefine things as problematic the less problems there are,” Ridley said. He said a Harvard professor named Daniel Gilbert wrote an article about how volunteers were asked to press the button when they see a blue dot.

As the blue dot became rarer, the volunteers started to press the button on purple dots too. They were expanding their definition of the color blue. This then brought up an ethical issue of how to redefine problems. To put it simply: when there are fewer problems, humans find more to complain about.

So why is our happiness and economic prosperity slowly becoming bigger and better? Innovation.

Ridley said technology is improving humans’ happiness and economic prosperity across the globe.

“It is innovation that is the source for all our prosperity. Every technology you can think of is a combination of other technologies,” Ridley said.

The Center for Free Enterprise’s next presentation will be titled “Is Big Tech Evil?: What do the Economics Say?” by George Mason University Professor Tyler Cowen.

Photo by Maggie Vancampen / The Louisville Cardinal

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Joseph Garcia <![CDATA[Unraveling the mysteries behind credit scores]]> https://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=62887 2018-10-19T02:18:47Z 2018-10-18T23:27:16Z By Amber Cobb — This is part two of a semester-long column series on the topic: budgeting in college. One of the great mysteries of the financial world is credit, and as college students, it’s important to understand why we need to start worrying about credit early on. Christie McCormick, a financial consultant at the […]

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By Amber Cobb —

This is part two of a semester-long column series on the topic: budgeting in college.

One of the great mysteries of the financial world is credit, and as college students, it’s important to understand why we need to start worrying about credit early on.

Christie McCormick, a financial consultant at the PNC Bank across from Cardtowne, offered great insight into the world of credit, misconceptions and tips on how to get started:

Amber Cobb (AC): What is credit/a credit score?

Chrisite McCormick (CM): Before borrowing money in any form (credit cards, loans, etc.) your credit score is nonexistent. Then, once you DO borrow money, your credit score sticks with you. The status of that score reflects your ability to pay back that borrowed money within the time frame that you agreed to do so.

AC: Why do we need credit?

CM: Most people are not able to pay cash for things such as college, a car, a house, etc. Credit allows you to pay for those things over an extended period, rather than upfront. In these cases, the bank or credit union pays the amount in full, then you repay the bank. However, if the bank doesn’t trust that you are going to pay them back, then they may choose to not lend you the money in the first place. This is where your credit score becomes important- it tells the bank how financially trustworthy you are.

AC: How do I start building credit?

CM: The first step is typically a credit card. Banks often recommend that a parent cosigns with you on your first credit card, due to your nonexistent credit score. Once you begin using that credit card, your credit begins to build if you pay off that credit card regularly – making the payments that it requires. The best way to do this is to never charge anything on your credit card that you don’t already have money for in your bank account. Essentially, treat it like another debit card – paying it off as you’re using it.

AC: What are some common misconceptions about credit?

CM: One is that you have to charge large amounts to your credit card in order to build your credit. That is not true – if you’re paying your credit card off monthly, the amount doesn’t matter much at all.

Another misconception is that the more credit cards you have, the better. This also isn’t true. Actually, closing out credit cards often hurts your credit. It’s best to stick to a minimal amount, no matter how great those department store credit card perks sound.

By understanding credit and how to build it, credit will seems less daunting. It’s more important than we think.

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Joseph Garcia <![CDATA[Being a failure can be a good thing]]> https://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=63296 2018-10-18T03:37:22Z 2018-10-18T03:34:17Z By Kyla Thomas —  On Wednesday, Oct. 10, the College of Business held a seminar called, “Faceplant into Failure.” While some might cringe in slight pain when thinking about the thought of failure, speaker Elizabeth Liebschutz-Roettger explained how failure is actually a great thing. “I’ve had this presentation brewing in the back of my head […]

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By Kyla Thomas — 

On Wednesday, Oct. 10, the College of Business held a seminar called, “Faceplant into Failure.” While some might cringe in slight pain when thinking about the thought of failure, speaker Elizabeth Liebschutz-Roettger explained how failure is actually a great thing.

“I’ve had this presentation brewing in the back of my head for a while. I really wanted to explain that leadership has a lot of different meanings. It looks different,” Liebschutz-Roettger said.

She said if you don’t fail, you don’t try, which is worse than failing in the first place. Liebschutz-Roettger recounted a speech given by the keynote speaker at her college graduation with the motif: “Don’t be complacent in life.”

“Sometimes just the fear of failure makes us complacent. That’s why I really want to address this. Since I turned 22, I constantly try to remind myself that, but I also think that the fear of failure, and that falling into and accepting it, helps you avoid that complacency,” Liebschutz-Roettger said.

At the end of the seminar, Liebschutz-Roettger read from a children’s book based on the 1950’s iconic poster “Rosie the Riveter.”

In it, a child fails at building an airplane, but the child’s family embraces her because she at least tried.

Students were engaged in the seminar, and U of L student Victoria Johnson said it’s comforting to know others fail too.

“I feel like the seminar really put things into perspective. As a college student we are bound to fail from time to time and to hear from an adult and several examples that sometimes failure is okay, makes things a little bit easier,” Johnson said.

Featured Image: “Rosie the Riveter”

Photo Courtesy / Wikimedia

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Joseph Garcia <![CDATA[The making of a genre: Origins of indigenous hip-hop]]> https://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=63300 2018-10-17T19:50:22Z 2018-10-17T19:50:22Z By Daniel Cruse — Kyle Mays from the University of California presented a lecture about the relevance of politics and culture in Native American and indigenous hip-hop in the Bingham Humanities Building October 11. It was his second presentation on indigenous studies so far this semester. Mays has researched and written extensively about the effect […]

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By Daniel Cruse —

Kyle Mays from the University of California presented a lecture about the relevance of politics and culture in Native American and indigenous hip-hop in the Bingham Humanities Building October 11. It was his second presentation on indigenous studies so far this semester.

Mays has researched and written extensively about the effect of indigenous cultures on America. He has published two books on the subject: Hip Hop Beats, Indigenous Rhymes: Modernity and Hip Hop in Indigenous North America and The Indigenous Motor City: Indigenous People and the Making of Modern Detroit.

The talk was designed to inform a wide audience about a sect of culture and art that is seldom explored by many people: indigenous hip-hop. Mays’ goal was to dive into why it is not widely discussed and acknowledged.

Mays spoke how colonialism, racism, bigotry and prejudice against Indigenous people in this country has pushed them out of the cultural zeitgeist, regardless of how much merit is found in their art and society.

Hip-hop has, for many years, been an art form to inspire those who are being oppressed to stand up and unify and relate their feelings through music and poetry.

Mays played a song featuring many indigenous performers, called Stand Up, about resisting the Dakota Access Pipeline that would harm the environment and hurt the land.

He then went on to discuss the violence against indigenous women, playing City Lights by Pooky + Briskool. The song addresses the issue of missing or murdered indigenous women in Canada and the rest of North America.

Mays cited the song as an example of indigenous Hip Hop Feminism, designed to raise awareness of the issue and to hopefully mobilize groups of activists to speak out and make some kind of change.

After the songs, Mays told the audience that the rights of indigenous people is not an issue of the past.

“The struggle of indigenous peoples has existed since the first settlers arrived and still continues to this day,” Mays said.

He said the purpose of his research and work is to inform and raise awareness, and hopefully to inspire action for those who may want to create art or protest or do anything they can to make a difference.

Mays then thanked the African and Liberal Studies programs, the Department of English and the other departments who made it possible for him to speak at U of L.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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Sam Combest <![CDATA[Sustainability Interns bring big green initiatives to life]]> https://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=63324 2018-10-17T01:06:49Z 2018-10-17T01:06:48Z By Carly Williamson — The University of Louisville Sustainability Council says free “pop-up” stores and food pantries will help U of L meet the council’s zero-waste initiative goals, while also meeting student needs. These services will provide free clothing and food to students and encourage wasteless living. By treating the campus as a “living lab” […]

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By Carly Williamson —

The University of Louisville Sustainability Council says free “pop-up” stores and food pantries will help U of L meet the council’s zero-waste initiative goals, while also meeting student needs.

These services will provide free clothing and food to students and encourage wasteless living.

By treating the campus as a “living lab” ripe for the opportunity to engage students, U of L’s Zero-Waste intern Erin Kurtz said the council can make complex and sometimes intimidating concepts a practical reality for students.

Kurtz said she wants to bring the established Free Store, located in Unitas Tower, to students by making parts of the store mobile. One rack, filled with hanging clothes, will be brought to different areas of campus on event days.

All of the Free Store’s items have been donated to be reused, instead of being trashed. Kurtz said the free, repurposed items help students and provide the opportunity for a conversation about green-living.

“Events like these allow me to engage with students one-on-one and explain what we are and why we do what we do,” Kurtz said.

Kurtz and Sustainability Communications Intern Henrietta Ransdell co-founded the University of Louisville chapter of the Food Recovery Network. The organization addresses food waste on campuses across America.

U of L’s chapter sprouted its roots when the interns started collecting uneaten bagels from Einstein Bros. Bagels.

Soon bigger projects followed. The group started collecting leftovers to be redistributed instead of thrown out, including all 2018 Summer Orientation sessions.

Kurtz said the group has collected “well over” 1,000 pounds of food so far in 2018.

The interns both said they are looking to expand the Food Recovery Network’s membership and are in the process of starting a recurring collection from the Starbucks’ on campus.

As food collection increases, the group’s distribution process needs to be upgraded to best put it to use. Thus, the interns turned their attention to the creation of Free Food Pantries.

The proposed pantries would continue the previous process of collecting leftover food from campus dining services at the end of business days and making it available for free to anyone on campus that needs it.

Kurtz said models of successful pantries can be seen at some other Kentucky schools: UK, EKU and WKU. She said it’s time for U of L to address a need within its student body.

“Since we’re rated as the most sustainable public university in Kentucky, it seems as though we really should be doing our part as well. We need to take care of our students,” Kurtz said.

The council aims to meet zero-waste goals through other programs as well, such as providing reusable to-go containers in the Ville Grille and ten-cent discounts for using reusable cups.

Ransdell said she hopes that these new programs, big and small, will get students thinking about sustainability in a new way.

“Students have great access to information and resources on sustainability here at U of L, but may not always pursue it or know where to start,” Ransdell said.

Kurtz said green-thinking can help toward a zero-waste campus, and it’s easiest to start small.

“Zero-waste is an ideal to strive for. It is an end goal. But there are so many small steps to take before getting to that place, and that’s okay. You can’t do everything, but you should do what you can,” Kurtz said.

Graphics By Shayla Kerr / The Louisville Cardinal 

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Matt Bradshaw http://louisvillecardinal.com <![CDATA[Football posts worst seven-game start since 2009]]> https://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=63381 2018-10-17T00:21:31Z 2018-10-17T00:21:31Z By Matt Bradshaw — Football (2-5, 0-4) remains without a conference victory after their 38-20 defeat this past Saturday at the hands of Boston College. Louisville kept themselves in the game with a 20-14 lead in the first half and fumbled their chances by allowing 24 unanswered points. The 2-5 start for U of L […]

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By Matt Bradshaw —

Football (2-5, 0-4) remains without a conference victory after their 38-20 defeat this past Saturday at the hands of Boston College. Louisville kept themselves in the game with a 20-14 lead in the first half and fumbled their chances by allowing 24 unanswered points.

The 2-5 start for U of L is the program’s worst since 2009, and the loss to Boston College marks the first four-game losing streak since 2008.

To say that the season has been disappointing would be an understatement, but most Cardinal fans know this by now. Expectations were high after the departure of Heisman winner Lamar Jackson, in addition to head coach Bobby Petrino hyping up his current team to more than they would be.

Most disheartening is the prospect of looking to the future: What does this lackluster 2-5 start mean for Louisville football?

The program has equally poor seasons to compare to in the past, like coach Steve Kragthorpe’s 4-8 stint in 2009. However, that season was followed by a year-to-year increase until U of L upset Florida in the 2012 Sugar Bowl.

By the time the Cardinals entered the ACC in 2014, it seemed the program was on the up-and-up once again. As a member of the power-five conference, Louisville football has achieved a bowl win and featured a talented group of future NFL pros.

The 2018 season cannot help but feel like a step back, and this time around it’s hard to see how the program will take a step forward once again.

Few of U of L’s underclassmen have proved they have extremely bright futures on the team, and the 2019 recruiting class has little to zero top-prospects in queue.

It’s not impossible for the Cards to bounce back from their 2018 performance, but it remains highly unlikely to expect more than eight-win (if that) seasons in the coming years.

What’s worse, the expansion of Cardinal Stadium brought Louisville football’s facilities to an elite level. The team’s play so far fails to compare to the improved venue.

Based on this season’s attendance, and if circumstances remain the same, the program might have to get used to a sparsely-filled stadium.

You can follow the Louisville Cardinal on Twitter @thecardsports.

Photo by Nancy Hanner / The Louisville Cardinal

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Conner Farrell <![CDATA[Schedule preview: Notre Dame headlines ACC slate for WBB]]> https://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=63375 2018-10-17T16:10:35Z 2018-10-17T00:17:21Z By Conner Farrell — Our final stop on the Louisville basketball schedule preview is a look at the conference slate for women’s basketball. U of L secured the ACC regular season title and first-ever ACC tournament title last season. It was also the first time the program won the regular season in their conference since […]

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By Conner Farrell —

Our final stop on the Louisville basketball schedule preview is a look at the conference slate for women’s basketball.

U of L secured the ACC regular season title and first-ever ACC tournament title last season. It was also the first time the program won the regular season in their conference since 2001 (Conference USA) and conference tournament since 1993 (Metro Conference).

Their 15-1 conference record tied the program’s highest, which was set in the 2015-16 season.

With the team returning the likes of All-American senior guard Asia Durr and senior forward Sam Fuehring, it’s not out of the question for the Cardinals to replicate their successful performances from the prior season.

Here are two exciting conference games to mark on your calendar.

At Notre Dame Jan. 10

Each time Notre Dame and Louisville square off on the hardwood the women’s college basketball world takes notice.

Perhaps U of L’s biggest rival in the ACC, the Cards will get their first real conference test on the road against the defending national championship.

Although the Fighting Irish ended up on top of the college basketball world after an NCAA championship, the Cards beat them every time they met during the season.

This includes a memorable 100-67 thumping at the KFC Yum! Center when Notre Dame was ranked No. 2 and Louisville No. 3.

Two of their three losses at the hands of the Cardinals were Notre Dame’s only defeats all season.

The Fighting Irish, led by Naismith Hall of Fame coach Muffet McGraw, have remained one of the most dominant forces in women’s college basketball in their 32 seasons guided by McGraw.

This year will be no different for Notre Dame as they return all three of their  top scorers from last season including Second Team All-American and 2018 NCAA title game hero senior guard Arike Ogunbowale (20.8 points per game), and junior guard Jackie Young (14.5 points per game).

Also returning is senior point guard Marina Mabrey, who lead the team in assists last season with 168. Mabrey is a dangerous threat from deep, as her 85 three-pointers were most on the team in 2018.

U of L will have its work cut out for them as this matchup will be their third game in the conference season. Unlike last year when the teams met twice in the regular season, the Cards will only have one crack at Notre Dame this time around.

Like years past, the U of L/ND bout will be watched by everyone in women’s college basketball with both teams poised to be highly ranked.

At Florida State Jan. 24

The last time they linked up, the Seminoles dealt the Cardinals their first loss of the 2018 in a 50-49 slugfest. The defeat was the lowest point turnout for Louisville last season.

It is safe to say head coach Jeff Walz and his squad will be looking for revenge this season.

Florida State, who finished last season ranked no. 11, was upset in the 2018 NCAA tournament as a three-seed by 11-seed Buffalo.

Since then, the Seminole roster has completely changed and the team will have to replace all five of their starters.

FSU only returns one player out of their top-four scorers last season in junior guard Nicki Ekhomu (10.1 points per game).

Nonetheless, the ‘Noles offset this massive roster chance with a pair of top-50 recruits in guards Izabela Nicoletti and Kourtney Weber.

Even though the Seminoles may be in the midst of a bridge-year this season, this is not a game to overlook in the conference schedule. That’s especially true as the Cardinals will be looking to redeem their 2018 performance.

U of L will play a total of 16 games in the conference slate.

With high hopes for another great run like last season, each of these 16 matchups is crucial for the Cards in preparation for postseason tournaments.

The team begins the season on Nov. 6 against Western Kentucky.

You can follow the Louisville Cardinal on Twitter @thecardsports.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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Matt Bradshaw http://louisvillecardinal.com <![CDATA[Football’s Kemari Averett arrested for threatening to kill girlfriend]]> https://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=63447 2018-10-16T20:52:23Z 2018-10-16T20:51:43Z By Micah Brown — Football tight end Kemari Averett has been suspended from all team activities after being arrested on Monday, October 15th for allegedly pressing a gun to his girlfriend’s head and threatening to kill her. The sophomore pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning to charges of first-degree wanton endangerment and domestic violence. U of L released […]

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By Micah Brown —

Football tight end Kemari Averett has been suspended from all team activities after being arrested on Monday, October 15th for allegedly pressing a gun to his girlfriend’s head and threatening to kill her.

The sophomore pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning to charges of first-degree wanton endangerment and domestic violence.

U of L released a press statement announcing his suspension.

“Kemari Averett has been suspended immediately from all football activities per further investigation,” head coach Bobby Petrino said. “He will not have access to our facility or be involved in any team activities during this suspension.”

According to the arrest citation, Averett arrived at his girlfriend’s house to study and left his backpack. When the woman went to Averett’s apartment the following day, he noticed the laptop was missing, which prompted him to put a gun to her head and threaten to kill her.

This is not the first run-in with the law that the 20-year-old has faced. Before arriving at Louisville, Averett had been accused of stealing a cell phone at gunpoint, resulting in a three month sentence to a regional youth detention center in his hometown of Atlanta.

Averett’s court date is set for Friday, October 26th.

You can follow the Louisville Cardinal on Twitter @thecardsports.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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Sam Combest <![CDATA[Former representatives push for criminal justice reform]]> https://www.louisvillecardinal.com/?p=63333 2018-10-16T03:06:55Z 2018-10-16T03:06:53Z By Sam Combest — The Brandeis School of Law and the Justice Action Network co-hosted a Criminal Justice Reform Symposium Oct. 10 which featured a panel composed of a former district judge, a former U.S. Attorney General, a former congressman, and a former U.S. Attorney for Utah. Each panelist agreed that 2018 is a time […]

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By Sam Combest —

The Brandeis School of Law and the Justice Action Network co-hosted a Criminal Justice Reform Symposium Oct. 10 which featured a panel composed of a former district judge, a former U.S. Attorney General, a former congressman, and a former U.S. Attorney for Utah.

Each panelist agreed that 2018 is a time of extreme political divide as shown in media, and one of the most important bipartisan issues in the federal government is criminal justice and prison reform.

The First Step Act was a frequent topic of discussion among panelists. The law has already been approved by the House of Representatives, and it aims to improve conditions for incarcerated people in the U.S. It now needs approval from the Senate and the president to become law.

Under the proposed bill, shackling of incarcerated women during labor will be illegal, and prisoners must be placed within 500 miles of their homes. The bill also has provisions to help inmates get released sooner and overall allow them to have a better life after they are released. (You can learn more about the First Step Act at firststepact.org.)

The audience watched a video that featured Rep. Doug Collins, R-GA, who introduced the bill, and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-NY, discussing the act, and their hopes for how it could change criminal justice practices in America.

Panelists said their goal for the evening was to push the idea of rehabilitation, not incarceration and to reduce the recidivism of inmates repeatedly going to prison, especially those facing non-violent crime sentences.

Former U.S Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey said incarceration is often a necessity in America.

“There were a number of cases that I felt we really protected society,” Mukasey said of his role as attorney general.

Mukasey discussed one of the more prominent cases he worked on during George W. Bush’s administration involving a high-profile terrorist plot.

“I thought he should never see the light of day. I’ve had very few cases where I have ever felt that way, but there are those cases.”

President and CEO of the Louisville Urban League and former District Court Judge Sadiqa Reynolds was also on the panel. Reynolds said she feels the system is not working for a variety of reasons.

“We need to work more on the front end. We are too smart of a country to only be working on the reactive end,” Reynolds said.

“Parole is not a mitigation for someone who should never have gone to prison in the first place.”

Reynolds said America’s incarceration process needs to stress empathy.

“We really need a humanization process; it’s very easy sometimes to just not see the person as another human being,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds wrapped up by saying everyone is capable of rehabilitating.

“I believe in second chances, but I still want to see justice. I want to see people treated with the dignity you would want a loved one treated with,” she said.

Brett Tolman, former U.S Attorney for Utah said the Elizabeth Smart case was relevant to the prison reform discussion.

Smart was kidnapped from her home when she was 14 and was held captive for 9 months by Brian David Mitchell and his wife Wanda Barzee before being rescued.

“5 years in the state system with no convictions, it was obvious they were guilty. It was cut and dry, these were two individuals who kidnapped her from her home when she was young,” Tolman said.

He said cases like this show that our criminal justice system is flawed.

“95 percent of inmates get out. Do you want them to get out without that mental health treatment like Wanda Barzee? Do you want them to get out without training or some education, so they can avoid being recidivists? Or do you just want them to get everyone out? Right now, the federal system is the void of that, and there is very little to take advantage of,” Tolman said.

He said it seems simple, but change is now coming on the federal level and people’s opinions about incarceration have evolved.

“That decades-old, ‘Mr.-Tough-On-Crime’ – it might have gotten someone elected 20-30 years ago, but that’s all it did. Otherwise all it’s doing is warehousing people,” Tolman said.

Former Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz provided a business perspective to the panel and offered the audience some insight into the annual cost of incarcerating individuals.

“It costs $33,000-$36,000 a year to incarcerate one person,” Chaffetz said.

He said more than a third of the Justice Department’s budget goes to prisons, and the Bureau of Prisons is the fastest-growing part of the budget.

A simple fix Chaffetz offered during his time in congress was to changes the bureau’s name.

“In every state it’s called the ‘Department of Corrections,’ except the federal system. I felt strongly that it needed an attitude adjustment,” Chaffetz said.

Chaffetz said prisons don’t exist just to incarcerate people.

“What we should be doing as people and a population is asking, ‘What is the goal? What does the end look like?’ We want to reduce recidivism,” Chaffetz said.

The panelists and hosts of the symposium agreed that the First Step Act is a great start to the U.S.’s prison reform, but it’s just what its name describes: the first step.

Pictured: Jason Chaffetz

Photo Courtesy / Wikimedia

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