Maria Hantzopoulos and Monisha Bajaj discuss their new book, Education for Peace and Human Rights: An Introduction (Bloomsbury, 2021).

The Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on the neck of George Floyd and killed him was training new recruits. One of the trainees was on his third day on the job. That got me thinking: How are police trained? What type of education do police officers receive? And are there any connections between type and quality of education and training to the excessive police force so common in black communities?

My guest today is Gary Cordner, a retired professor and dean, former police officer and former police chief. Most recently he served as Chief Research Advisor for the National Institute of Justice in the U.S. Department of Justice. He has actively studied and written about community policing, police administration, police agency accreditation, and police education. We spoke last week on a range of issues including structural racism and the prospects of defunding the police.

Citation: Cordner, Gary, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 202, podcast audio, June 15, 2020. https://www.freshedpodcast.com/garycordner/

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Over 500 people were murdered in Chicago last year. Most of these murders were concentrated in a few historically black neighborhoods on the West and South sides of the city. And most of the victims were under 30 years old.

For many people listening to this show in the comfort of their home or car or while at the gym, it’s probably difficult to grasp what such a high rate of murder and violence does not only to those involved but also to the wider community.

In some of these Chicago neighborhoods, the impacts from violence have been compounded by a raft of school closures. A WBEZ Chicago report found since 2002 over 70,000 children – “the vast majority of them black — have seen their schools closed or all staff in them fired.” In 2013 alone, 50 schools were closed, which was the largest intentional mass school closing in recent history.

My guest today is Tio Hardiman, president and founder of Violence Interrupters, Incorporated and an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice. Tio is on the front lines of conflict resolution, restorative justice practices, and community organizing. He has seen what violence does to a community and the way it impacts and is impacted by schools. In our conversation, we talk about the history of violence in Chicago and what this means for children today.