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- Criminal Justice Studies Division releases statement on recent events -
HAMBURG, N.Y. – Hilbert College, a leader in law and justice education for over 45 years, today made three significant moves involving its law and justice initiatives.
Dr. Martin Floss has been named the director of Hilbert College’s Institute for Law and Justice. Floss’ background in the justice arena is extensive. In 2003, Floss served as a federal monitor in national law enforcement review efforts on a U.S. Justice Department examination of use of force practices in the Buffalo Police Department.
Additionally, Hilbert’s Board of Trustees, at their May meeting, has approved a Bachelor of Arts in Advocacy and Social Justice and a Bachelor of Science in Intelligence and Data Analysis.
The new degree programs are on track to begin enrolling students in the fall of 2021, pending approvals from the New York State Department of Education and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
“We want to see our law and justice programming and academic division grow in progressive and forward-thinking ways,” Hilbert President Dr. Michael Brophy said. “The institute continues to focus on supporting agencies to produce positive community change and ways to improve areas of social service. Our new degree programs align with, and strengthen, our mission and Franciscan values.”
The Hilbert College Criminal Justice Studies Division and the Institute for Law and Justice released a statement (FULL STATEMENT) that read in part:
“The recent events in our country have been horrific and, unfortunately, polarizing. We share the nation’s outrage at the murder of George Floyd and agree that officers who commit acts of violence against citizens must be held accountable. Communities of color are grieving and too many are afraid of those sworn to protect them; this fact needs to be acknowledged.
"We formally endorse the college’s statement in support of ending racial prejudice. We particularly applaud its commitment to our mission of education to serve our diverse community.
"Hilbert College has been preparing graduates to enter careers in criminal justice since 1971, and we are extremely proud of and support those graduates who have served their communities with distinction in ways that demonstrate our Franciscan heritage and values. We acknowledge these honorable careers in law enforcement and support the front-line heroes, many of whom, as a recent example, have sacrificed their health during this COVID-19 Pandemic. Each year far too many officers die in the line of duty, while others jeopardize their safety each day in service to the greater good—and this too needs to be acknowledged.
"As part of our Franciscan mission, our faculty work to ensure that our graduates serve their communities with dignity and respect. This mission depends on relationships and the built-in faith in each other’s good will. With this in mind, we seek to ensure that those we teach will help heal the wounds that are so ingrained in our culture.
"The effects of our nation’s history of racism are far more widespread than any individual officer’s actions. Law enforcement alone cannot heal systemic wounds. Still, we recognize that we have a role to play in reforming systems to prevent violence against our communities, especially against people of color who have disproportionately suffered.
"If there was ever a time to act, it is now. We commit to acting.”
The intelligence and data analysis degree will prepare students to perform assessments based on the collection, correlation, and analysis of data. Graduates of this program will be prepared to enter the workforce as an intelligence analyst, crime analyst, security analyst, or business analyst.
The advocacy and social justice degree will emphasize a student experience that analyzes social problems from a critical perspective and encourages activism through community service, internships, and other experiential learning opportunities.
Floss was the inaugural director of the Institute for Law and Justice when it was established at Hilbert in 1999. In recent years, he has focused his efforts as a professor of criminal justice and chair of the criminal justice administration graduate program. Floss will continue in those roles, and he assumed leadership of the institute on June 1. He has more than 20 years of service at the college and has led many research initiatives for graduate and undergraduate students alike.
Under his leadership, the institute will look to continue and broaden its work within the community.
“Our criminal justice academic programs incorporate critical thinking around ethics and recognizing the human dignity in every person,” Dr. Floss said. “The Institute for Law and Justice will look for opportunities to expand this research and support systemic changes to improve law enforcement and community relationships.”
Floss served as an evaluator for several juvenile, family, and adult drug courts, and helped plan and write the grant that led to the first Erie County Juvenile Treatment Court. He was later asked to be a faculty consultant for the National Drug Court Institute. Floss also worked with the 8th Judicial District to implement the Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative to help reduce juvenile detention rates in Erie County. He serves on the board of the Erie County Law Enforcement Foundation, Inc. Floss earned a doctorate in criminal justice from Rutgers University, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice from Buffalo State College, and an associate’s degree in police science from SUNY Erie (ECC).
Full statement from the Hilbert College Criminal Justice Studies Division and the Institute for Law and Justice
Hilbert College, located in suburban Hamburg, N.Y., south of Buffalo, is a private four-year college founded in 1957 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition. With nearly 800 students, Hilbert is a dynamic Western New York college that offers career-focused majors, including one of the top criminal justice programs in the region, and more than 50 minors and concentrations. The college’s engaging, student-centered campus community offers numerous leadership, internship, and service learning opportunities from which students launch successful careers while making positive changes in their communities. The Hilbert Blueprint promotes a well-rounded student experience over four years – starting with the Foundations Seminar in the freshman year, followed by Sophomore Service, Junior Symposium, and culminating with the Senior Capstone. Hilbert has expanded its academic offerings with the college’s first graduate programs in criminal justice administration and public administration, including a track in health administration.
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