Dr. Tony Gaskew, associate professor of criminal justice, has been invited to take part in a roundtable discussion on criminal justice reform next week at The White House.
Gaskew, who is the author of “Rethinking Prison Reentry: Transforming Humiliation into Humility” and director of the criminal justice program at Pitt-Bradford, said that he was asked to address prison education reform.
Gaskew was one of 10 educators in the United States to receive the invitation. Dr. Steven Hardin, vice president and dean of academic affairs at Pitt-Bradford, will accompany Gaskew.
Criminal justice reform has been a priority for Obama in his last year in office. In November, he announced actions to promote rehabilitation and reintegration for the formerly incarcerated. As part of his efforts to understand unfairness in the criminal justice system, Obama has recently met with clemency recipients, hosted a panel discussion on criminal justice reform at the White House and encouraged rethinking solitary confinement as a nation.
Gaskew began teaching victim-impact classes at the Federal Correctional Institution - McKean in 2007. His work progressed to teaching Pitt-Bradford classes at the prison with a mix of incarcerated and Pitt-Bradford students.
Today he is the founding director of the Prison Education Program at Pitt-Bradford, one of the only post-secondary prison programs in the United States working with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Gaskew has had members of the Criminal Justice Club on campus teaching job skills courses to inmates nearing their release dates, and this semester, he worked with prison officials to let incarcerated educators teach a hand-selected group of upper-class Pitt-Bradford criminal justice students about radical movements.
He is a member of the FCI-McKean Inmate Reentry Council and has conducted research on prisoner reentry in McKean County.