Meet Janice Ayers. She wrote several articles for us. The articles cover a serious topic: criminal justice, and criminal justice for black people in particular.
We wondered: why would she choose such a difficult topic for research? And here’s what she says.
I chose criminal justice because of my passion for the field as well as an incident that occurred that resulted in the death of my infant cousin where justice was not truly served and to this day he visits me in my dreams and allows me to see not only his injuries that he received at 15 months old but also the cover-up that yielded to real justice not being able to be served for his death. He is the individual that inspires me to achieve my goals of true justice for victims, especially minorities.
I obtained my Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice/Criminology from the University of Texas at Arlington and received my Master's degree from Criminal Justice from Arizona State University.
My collegiate studies were fairly easy only because I have had a passion for the criminal justice system and solving cases since I was a little girl. However, it wasn't until I was older and matured that I realized that the criminal justice system is very flawed, especially with incidents and/or cases that involve minority suspects and/or prisoners.
My current occupation is a criminal justice writer where I focus on correcting injustices that occur within the criminal justice system.
We asked her, if she often faces racism considering her current occupation.
I have not received direct racism with the work I do as of yet. However, I can say that many individuals who are categorized as non-minority do not believe that racism against minorities plays a huge role in the injustices that minorities face within the criminal justice system. Not only is the role that racism plays in the criminal justice system evident in the disproportionate number of minority individuals in the prison system, specifically minorities, but also the fact that most victims who are unarmed and still are killed by police brutality and excessive force are mostly minority, specifically African-Americans. I have written several articles about this as well as provided correlating research regarding the problem, but many individuals of the Caucasian race seem to believe that somehow the victim is still at fault and this is not the case. This is particularly evident in the recent murder of Jordan Edwards by a police officer. I can remember first writing the story and some people were already blaming the victim questioning why he was out late at night before any specific details were released to the public but these individuals fail to realize that if his parents gave the authorization for him to be out at night that this is his right and his skin color does not affect this right and further the color of his skin should not strike fear in any police officer and yield to his death. I believe it is important for not only law enforcement officials, including officers but also the general public to understand that the color of a persons' skin does not predict or define their involvement with criminality and no matter a person' skin color that they should be treated with respect and like a human being.
“What are the most outrageous cases of criminal injustice you have ever met?” we asked Janice.
Unfortunately, there have been many outrageous cases but the most outrageous cases, in my opinion, are those cases that result in the murder of unarmed individuals by police officers. These cases become more outrageous because most of the time there is video evidence of the actual incident but most police officers are not held criminally responsible which undermines the true goals of the criminal justice system. If video evidence is not enough to secure a conviction it really raises the question of whether or not a conviction is being sought.
“Your articles expose a lot of injustice hiding behind the law enforcement officials’ suits. Do you think all of them are bad apples?”
I believe that most law enforcement officials do a great job at protecting and serving their perspective communities, however, to improve the criminal justice system as a whole, we must rid the system of any law enforcement official who does not effectively complete the task of their job, and this includes those individuals who engage in acts of excessive force and police brutality.
“Well, what are your ideas about how to reduce racism?"
The only option to reduce racism is to undue years of misinformed teachings of prior generations that one race is more superior that another. The fact of the matter is that no matter our differences is skin color, hair texture, and/or culture among other things that we are all equal and should be treated as such and unfortunately we are still fighting the fight of equality that so many of our forefathers have fought in their lifetimes.
“Injustice can never be stood for,” said Amber Heard, and that’s exactly how Janice Ayers feels.
“This quote gives me the motivation to utilize my talents as a writer as well as by education career to fight for change that can cease acts of injustice in the future,” – she says.