The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice holds public lecture

By Terry Odhiambo

Dr. Eric Clark, an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at Howard Community College in Maryland, United States, delivered a captivating public lecture at USIU-Africa on May 22. The lecture, part of the Horizon Project lecture series in Criminal Justice-East, addressed a critical topic: ‘Identifying and Addressing the Gap in Communication that Hinders Productive Outcomes between the Police and the Public: How the E.A.S.E. De-Escalation of Force Program Can Minimize Tensions in Non-Emergent and Custodial Police Encounters.’

Dr. Clark, the originator of the E.A.S.E. De-Escalation of Force Program, emphasized the importance of effective communication in bridging the divide between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve. He highlighted how the E.A.S.E. program can significantly reduce tensions during police encounters, particularly in non-emergent and custodial situations. His lecture provided a profound understanding of how improved dialogue and strategic de-escalation techniques can foster trust and cooperation between the police and the public, ultimately leading to more productive and peaceful outcomes.

In addition to his academic role, Dr. Clark is a retired enforcement officer with the United States Marshals Service. He brings a wealth of practical experience to his teaching and public speaking engagements. As a certified legal expert in prisoner operations, use of force, and firearms safety, he consults on these critical areas, offering valuable insights drawn from his extensive career in law enforcement.

Following the public lecture, Dr. Clark engaged with the students of the Juvenile Justice (CJS1103) class on May 23, as a guest lecturer. This session offered a unique opportunity for students to delve deeper into specialized topics within criminal justice, with a particular focus on juvenile systems. Dr. Clark's expertise and interactive approach enriched the students' learning experience, broadening their perspectives on juvenile justice issues.

During his visit, Dr. Clark also explored potential partnerships between the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at USIU-Africa and Howard Community College in Maryland. These discussions aimed at fostering academic collaboration, research opportunities, and student exchange programs, promising to enhance the educational experiences and professional development of students from both institutions.

Dr. Clark's visit to USIU-Africa marks a significant step towards strengthening international academic ties and underscores the university's commitment to providing its students with global perspectives and cutting-edge knowledge in the field of criminal justice.

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