Published on March 15, 2016 by Sean Flynt  
Broken on All Sides
Broken on All Sides

Samford University’s John Howard Scholars will launch the Howard Campaign for Fair Sentencing and Prison Reform with two public events March 31.

The scholars will host a petition signing in support of the bipartisan federal Record Expungement Designed to Enhance Employment (REDEEM) Act on Ben Brown Plaza 10 a.m.–2 p.m. The REDEEM Act would create a federal sealing pathway for nonviolent adult exoffenders, automatically seal and, in some cases, expunge juvenile records, and lift lifetime bans on many nonviolent drug offenders’ eligibility to receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or participate in the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP,) among other initiatives.

The scholars will then present Broken on All Sides, a documentary film about mass incarceration in America, at 7 p.m. in N302 Divinity Hall (two convo credits available for students).

Distinguished Samford alumna Karen O. Bowdre ’77, ’81, chief judge, United States District Court, Northern District of Alabama, will introduce the film and take part in a Q&A session afterward.

The John Howard Scholars and Howard College of Arts and Sciences take their name from the 18th century Englishman who dedicated his adult life to reforming unjust and inhumane conditions and policies of incarceration, some of which persist in the 21st century United States.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.