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Pitt-Greensburg to explore Legislative Action as part of its Criminal Justice Day

Legal books on shelfThe University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg will host a Legislative Action Conference as part of its Criminal Justice Day on Thursday, November 7. Experts from across the region will discuss reform efforts taking place throughout the criminal justice system. The panel discussions and networking event are both open to the public at no charge. The event is sponsored by the campus Criminal Justice Club in partnership with the Pitt-Greensburg Office of Career Services.

"This year's Criminal Justice Day theme of Legislative Action is intended to provide students and community members with the tools to challenge the issues of inequity that have become commonplace throughout the criminal justice system,” said Timothy J. Holler, PhD, assistant professor of Criminal Justice at Pitt-Greensburg and advisor to the Criminal Justice Club. “Engagement in the political process from well-informed citizens and practitioners is one of the primary ways to produce appropriate and sustainable changes. Attendees to our Criminal Justice Day will be empowered to take action in their local communities, where their impact can be noticed and immediate."

In addition to the four panel discussions listed below, the event will include a Networking Luncheon Event from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Hempfield Room (Chambers Hall). This Networking Luncheon Event that will allow students and other visitors to network with local, state, and federal agencies in the criminal justice field. Representatives from the following organizations will be in attendance: U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Pennsylvania State Police, Blackburn Center, Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, Davis and Davis Attorneys at Law, The Pittsburgh Steelers, Westmoreland County Children’s Bureau, Westmoreland County Prison, and Westmoreland Casemanagement & Supports, Inc.

The four panel discussions to be held throughout the day in the Mary Lou Campana Chapel and Lecture Center (150 Finoli Drive, Greensburg, PA 15601) include:

9 a.m. – Special Populations


  • David Garlock, the program director for New Person Ministry, a re-entry program in Pennsylvania where he works with sex offenders to rehabilitate their lives after prison. Garlock, who was convicted of murder in 1999 and received a 25-year prison sentence, is an advocate for criminal justice reform. While incarcerated, he enrolled in GED courses and earned his master’s in theology degree through an unaccredited program offered at the prison.
  • Ciora Thomas, a Pittsburgh native and resident founder of SisTers PGH, an organization that advocates for transgender rights and equality within the social and economic realms with the purpose of de-marginalizing the trans and non-binary communities of Pittsburgh.

10:15 a.m. – The Death Penalty


  • Jeremy Davis, a partner with Davis and Davis Attorneys at Law in Uniontown, PA, who is a certified death penalty defense counsel.
  • Plans are in process to secure a second panelist and are expected to include a representative of the Pennsylvanians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (PADP).

1 p.m. – Police/Community Relations


  • Beth Pittinger, MPM, executive director of the Pittsburgh Citizen Police Review Board (CPRB), which is an independent agency set up to investigate citizen complaints about improper police conduct.
  • Plans are in process to secure a second panelist.

3 p.m. – Immigration


  • A representative of CASA San Jose, whose purpose is to support and advocate for Latino communities on issues related to local integration and self-sufficiency in Pittsburgh. They promote a culture of acceptance where Latino immigrants are treated with dignity, respect, and kindness.
  • A representative of the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition (PICC), a diverse coalition of more than 60-member organizations and hundreds of individual supporters who seek to advance immigrants’ rights and promote immigrants’ full integration into society by advocating with a unified voice for greater public understanding and welcoming public policies throughout Pennsylvania. 

Founded in 1963, the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg is a publicly assisted, four-year, liberal arts college in southwestern Pennsylvania. Pitt-Greensburg offers 29 baccalaureate degree programs, including new majors in Nursing, Healthcare Management, Public Policy, and Education, as well as 26 minors and four certificate programs. With nearly 1,500 students, more than 10,000 alumni, and faculty and staff numbering 260, Pitt-Greensburg provides a vibrant, diverse community that is a dynamic model of a 21st century liberal arts education. As part of the University of Pittsburgh system, Pitt-Greensburg offers the resources of a world-renowned university combined with the individualized and immersive experiences of a small liberal arts college. Creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit permeate the campus and extend into its many collaborative projects with the Westmoreland County community. Nestled in Pennsylvania’s beautiful Laurel Highlands, the campus is surrounded by the region’s outdoor recreation venues and rich history. It is a five-minute drive from uptown Greensburg and less than an hour’s drive from Pittsburgh.

Publication Date

Friday, November 1, 2019 - 09:30