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High Ranking State Public Safety Official, A Mars Hill Alumnus, Shows Students What Can Be Accomplished With MHU Degree

Guice05W. David Guice '79, Commissioner of the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice for the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, spoke to a senior criminal justice class on April 12, 2016, at Mars Hill University.

In addition to students from Mars Hill University, the audience included representatives from community partners and criminals justice agencies throughout western North Carolina.

Dr. Barbara Sims, professor of criminal justice, said she invited Commissioner Guice to speak on issues related to both corrections and to juvenile justice, two major components of the U.S. criminal justice system.

"The criminal justice department wanted our students to hear from an MHU graduate who went on to succeed in the policy and public service arena," Sims said. "We also knew that our community partners from the area would have an interest in hearing from the top ranking official in their area of work. We asked him to speak about his career path and the critical issues facing NC today when it comes to managing the state’s prisons, community corrections, and the juvenile justice system."

Among other topics, Guice addressed the need for people as part of the criminal justice system in North Carolina to listen, to seek solutions for ongoing problems in criminal justice, and to approach their jobs with the knowledge that the goal is "for those people in our system to leave."

Recognizing that inmates will eventually come back to their communities is incentive to keep seeking criminal justice solutions that will work for the long run. "If we want to make change, we have to do things differently than we have in the past," he said.

"That's the business that we're in," he said, "giving folks a hand and a way up and out of a situation that they find themselves in."

Guice06According to Sims, the criminal justice major at MHU gives students a background in criminological theories, corrections, policing, victimology, ethics, the American court and legal systems and other themes. Graduates will also be steeped in the theory and methods necessary to think critically and problem solve about complex social issues, and to be better prepared to either be consumers of criminal justice research or to conduct original research related to criminal justice fields.

For more information on the criminal justice major at Mars Hill University, contact undergraduate admissions at (828) 689-1201 or Adult and Graduate Studies at (828) 689-1166, or read more on the criminal justice program's website.