Liberation Education Action Research Network/LEARN

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Welcome To LEARN!

 My name is Dr. June Terpstra. This is my website for students everywhere.  I began teaching at Northwestern University in 1986 until 1993 and have been teaching ever since at various universities including CSU Global, Arizona State West, Columbia College Chicago, Northeastern Illinois University, and Loyola University Chicago. Concurrent with teaching in major universities in the USA, I developed and directed a shelter program for abused women and children, abuse prevention projects for elementary and high school students, a youth center in Chicago, and anti-discrimination programs for universities in Illinois and California.  My work as an advocate for justice and equity for all people led me to focus my teaching in Justice Studies and Criminal Justice for the past 15 years. I am presently teaching Justice Studies full-time at Northeastern Illinois University where I teach courses such as Justice and Inequality, Law and Terrorism, and Theories of Justice and Social Change.  I formally attended Governors State University in Illinois, earning my Bachelor of Arts in Language and Literature and a Master of Arts in Sociology.  I completed my doctoral degree at Loyola University Chicago in Sociology.  Global justice, race, and ethnic relations, ethics, and justice as healing have been the primary focus of my research, teaching, and community advocacy and organizing!  Additionally, during the past 20 years I provided expert testimony in court cases; participated in research projects in Venezuela, Cuba, Greece, England, Belgium, Navajo Nation, the US, and Italy, and wrote for independent media outlets in the USA and Italy. I hope you find this website helpful. 

My vision of a new criminal justice system would result in a new system of justice as healing, transformation, and restoration. All laws, policies, and procedures would be written to benefit the poor and the working classes. Instead of law enforcement officers aka police, we would have well-paid and well-educated community responders.  Instead of prisons, we would have intense systems of rehabilitation, mental health, and re-education for violent offenders that would replace present-day prisons.  Those who were incarcerated for non-violent offenses would be housed in re-education programs until they complete their chosen courses of study along with restorative processes to repair the harms caused by their crimes.  First responder courses of studies would be offered for those interested in this group who could choose to return to their communities with jobs as first responders in cases where non-violent crimes, natural disasters, and other crisis events were occurring.  The group of people incarcerated for drug usage would all be freed but required to get drug and alcohol treatment programs and then be offered education programs to build job skills in whatever majors they choose.  Norway and the Netherlands are already providing models like what I recommend here.

Additionally, there would be basic income programs for the poor generally along with national health care, housing for the homeless, and free educational programs in a poverty reduction program that would surely reduce crime.  Local schools would offer community responder training, conflict resolution skills, and non-violent mediation at the high school level so that those students interested could become community responders with restorative, non-violent approaches. 

The US can afford to invest in poverty reduction along with transformative and restorative models of justice with a fraction of the money it is using to fund its wars and corporate subsidies.

Dr. June Terpstra