Request for Proposals: Language in Justice Conference

The Center for Justice at Columbia University and The Confined Arts presents From the Inside Out: The Power of Language to Incarcerate, a one-day justice conference in New York City that will meet and resist linguistic methods of dehumanization, which foster implicit and explicit biases about people in the criminal justice system.The mission of the conference is to explore the attachment of labels used to describe individuals with justice system contact, which are coupled with negative imagery, and provide re-humanizing counter narratives using the power of storytelling to highlight true-lived experiences. More specifically, the audience will engage with stigmatized labels coupled with (mis)representative imagery and be given a historical context of how labels foster misconceptions about incarceration and the people that are incarcerated.

We are now accepting applications for:

  1. Break-Out Session Facilitator: We are looking for individuals to engage with and promote discussion amongst conference participants on the negative impact of labels and marginalization.
  2. Organizational Information Blitz Facilitator: We are looking for individuals to share information about their social justice work and discuss how they believe labels negatively or positively impact that work.
  3. Spoken Pen Performing Artist: We are looking for performing artists to perform “Spoken Word”, a creative writing project produced by four condemned prisoners from the State of Arkansas.


Continue reading

TED Salon featuring Jarrell Daniels, Justice in Education Scholar

Our colleague, Jarrell, an Open Society Youth Activist Fellow, Annie E. Casey Youth Advisory Council member and Justice-in-Education Scholar at Columbia University, is now featured by national non-profit powerhouse, ‘TED’ for his recent TED Talk: Education Everywhere. In his talk, Jarrell promotes the advancement of joint educational experiences that build functional bridges between incarcerated people and those entrusted to govern our criminal justice system.

Jarrell himself spent six years in prison where he was enrolled alongside prosecutors in a unique class called Inside Criminal Justice. The seminar course, a combined effort between the Center for Justice at Columbia University, the Institute for Innovation in Prosecution at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and the District Attorney of New York (DANY) Academy, continue to inform Jarrell’s  work since his release.

Congratulations Jarrell!



Research and Film Volunteer Opportunities 2019-2020

Research Opportunities

The Center for Justice is looking for Research Assistants to work within different sectors of the From the Inside Out project, which is an action-research-based multidisciplinary project that advocates for the use of humanizing language and representative imagery and depictions of people in prison to decrease punitive triggers in the US criminal justice system, as well as to change the existing negative narratives of people in prison and those formerly incarcerated. The core hypothesis of this project is that the widespread pejorative labels and depictions of people touched by the criminal justice system—in both real life and the media—dehumanize incarcerated populations. This tendency contributes to the maintenance of punitive attitudes, abusive penal policies, a general desensitization to prison malpractices and, ultimately, a reluctance to the reintegration of formerly incarcerated individuals into society. Thus, targeting negative label use and misrepresentations of people in prison could have the impact of reducing dehumanization and its detrimental consequences for the lives of whose who are or have been affected by the prison system.



Justice Scholars Video Series

Justice in Education Scholar program will be producing short documentaries for the Justice-In-Education website. The aim of these videos is to highlight both the individual work and successes of past and present scholars, and some of the unique experiences of the JIE program itself. We hope these will not only showcase the strength of the program, but serve as an extension of its objectives by offering a platform for scholars to shape their public presence in new ways.

The videos will be approx. 3-5 minutes in length, requiring about 2 hours of your time for filming. Content will include your conversational responses to a series of off-camera prompts/questions, and if possible, feature documentary-style material which could show some of your interests, current projects, or social justice work. The videos will be published on the JIE website, with a link that can be easily shared via email and social media as you like.

Continue reading

Beyond the Bars 2019 Recap: Videos, Programs and More

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 9th annual Beyond the Bars Conference, this year focusing on the incarceration and criminalization of women and girls, as well as their families and communities, inclusive of transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people.  We are continually humbled by the strength and diversity of the movement to end mass incarceration and mass criminalization and are thankful to all of those who spent the weekend with us, and to the many who tuned in via livestream.  Below are a number of things from the conference to check out!





  • Coming Soon!


Meet our 2018-19 Beyond the Bars Fellows

Our current Fellows come from many schools across Columbia (Social Work, Teachers College, International and Public Affairs, Public Health, Sociology, and Columbia College), other colleges (CUNY Graduate Center and John Jay College of Criminal Justice) and a variety of different community and government organizations (the Brooklyn Bail Fund, the Door, the Silvia Rivera Law Project, the Social Change Agents Institute, G.I.R.L.S., the New York City Department of Education, and Vocal New York). We are honored to be working with such a powerful group of people and look forward to seeing the work of the Fellowship continue to grow.




Beyond the Bars 2019: Register Now!

Register Now!

Join us for the 9th Annual Beyond the Bars Conference of the Center for Justice at Columbia University that will focus on both the incarceration and criminalization of women and girls themselves as well as of their families and communities. Our focus is inclusive of transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people. The many struggles for justice, equity and safety led by women and girls directly impacted by the criminal legal system will be at the heart of the conference as we create a space to further strengthen and advance change. Beyond the Bars 2019 will continue developing the collaboration between universities and the many ongoing efforts to end mass incarceration.

It is our hope that this conference will bolster efforts to challenge the impacts of incarceration and criminalization on women and girls in the following ways:

  • Convene and support a national and international network of women and organizations to share and advance strategy and resources
  • Help articulate and amplify a feminist vision and analysis
  • Address difficult issues and questions within the movements to end gender-based violence and criminalization and incarceration
  • Strengthen and amplify the growing voices and roles of directly impacted women and girls
  • Enhance the knowledge and skills for a broad range of change makers
  • Further catalyze university involvement in the struggle to end mass incarceration

Register Now!

Thursday March 7th – Until She’s Free: A Night of Culture 
(Doors at 6:30pm – Event Starts at 7:00pm)

 Location: MIST Harlem

Friday March 8th – Building the Movement
Location: Lerner Hall, Columbia University
(Doors at 6:45pm – Event Starts at 7:30pm

Saturday March 9th – Until She’s Free: Panels & Breakout Sessions
Location: Columbia School of Social Work

(Registration and Continental Breakfast Begins at 8:45am – Panels Start at 9:30am)

Saturday March 9th – Film Screenings & Talkbacks 

Location: Columbia School of Social Work
(Film screenings will begin at 5:30pm)

Sunday March 10th – Building the Movement: Organizing Workshops

Location: Columbia School of Social Work
(Registration and Continental Break Begins at 9:30am – Program Starts at 10am)

Jarrell Daniels, Justice in Education Scholar featured in TED Salon: Education Everywhere

Education Everywhere: A night of talks about the future of learning, in partnership with TED-Ed

The event: TED Salon: Education Everywhere, curated by Cloe Shasha, TED’s director of speaker development; Stephanie Lo, director of programs for TED-Ed; and Logan Smalley, director of TED-Ed




Jarrell Daniels speaks at TEDSalon: Education Everywhere, January 24, 2019 at the TED World Theater, New York, NY. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED


Jarrell E. Daniels, criminal justice activist and Columbia University Justice-In-Education Scholar

  • Big idea: Collaborative education can help us create more justice.
  • How: A few weeks before his release from state prison, Daniels took a unique course called Inside Criminal Justice, where he learned in a classroom alongside prosecutors and police officers, people he couldn’t imagine having anything in common with. In class, Daniels connected with and told his story to those in power — and has since found a way to make an impact on the criminal justice system through the power of conversation.
  • Quote of the talk: “It is through education that we will arrive at a truth that is inclusive and unites us all in a pursuit of justice.”

Beyond the Bars 2019: Call for Artists

The 9th Annual Beyond the Bars Conference at Columbia University is seeking artwork in response to the theme of this year’s conference focusing on women and girls: the impact of incarceration and criminalization on women and girls, their families and communities. The many struggles for justice, equity and safety led by women directly impacted by the criminal justice system will be at the heart of the conference as we create a space to design change.

We encourage submissions from women, artists from the LGBTQ+ community, and artists whose work represents experiences and identities that are often underrepresented in the arts. We look forward to seeing your work.

Application submission:
The deadline is February 15, 2019

Submit an artist application at:

[email protected]

2019 Guggenheim Internship Application

Generously funded by the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Foundation, Oscar S. Straus II Fellows in Criminal Justice are a group of Princeton University, Columbia University, and Barnard College students who intern each summer at New York City criminal justice non-profit organizations. Here they engage in direct client services, legal services, social services, and policy research.

This program supports 16 to 20 internships, each provided with a $450 per week stipend. The Guggenheim program intends for students to develop a real-world understanding of legal issues in criminal justice, learn about policy innovations, and consider future careers or further education in fields related to criminal justice.

Click here for a complete list of Guggenheim Internship Opportunities. To learn more, email Kira at [email protected]

Applications are now open and will close at 5pm on February 15th. Click here to apply.

Seniors are not eligible to apply for the Guggenheim internships.

* Additional funds are available on a by-application basis for issues such as: high cost of living, required costs of internship and financial need.