Poverty and hunger. Crime and victimization. Addiction and mental affliction. Too often, these barriers to social equality are seen in Siouxland.
Inspired by the life and teachings of Saint Francis of Assisi, Briar Cliff University believes it has the God-given responsibility to care for all of God's creation, and that all have the right to live a life free from injustice.
The Center for Justice aims to create solutions for the most underserved populations in Siouxland. Those solutions include:
Briar Cliff is working to expand curricular offerings to include master's degrees in criminal justice and counseling psychology, and a bachelor's degree in forensic science. The University will also accommodate more students majoring in social work.
Briar Cliff faculty and students will work together on three research initiatives, focused on rural justice, restorative justice and addiction treatment innovation. Center for Justice research will be carried out by the Siouxland Social Science Research Center on BCU's campus.
- Rural justice: Improve educational outcomes for poor and working-class children, particularly in rural Siouxland.
- Restorative justice: Reduce recidivism in Siouxland's criminal population.
- Addiction treatment innovation: Create a treatment program to help methamphetamine addicts in Siouxland.
The University will forge working relationships with partners — other Siouxland entities that, like Briar Cliff, believe that all have the right to live a life free from injustice.
There is need in Siouxland
Of Iowa prisoners, 56 percent are re-arrested within three years of their release.
— Iowa Division of Criminal and Juvenile Justice Planning
Iowa has more methamphetamine users per capita than nearly every other state in the union.
— U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
The state of Iowa has a "crippling shortage" of mental health professionals.
— Des Moines Register