Jason Sole

Community Fellow Criminology and Criminal Justice

Jason Marque Sole (he, they) is a formerly incarcerated abolitionist. He has been a criminal justice educator for over 12 years and is currently an adjunct professor at Hamline University in the Criminal Justice and Forensic Science Department. He has been a national restorative justice trainer since 2008, leading circles in jails, prisons, and community. Also, Jason is the co-founder of the Humanize My Hoodie Movement in which he challenges threat perceptions about Black people through clothing, art exhibitions, documentary screenings, and workshops.  In addition, he recently launched the Institute of Aspiring Abolitionists for people who’d like to learn more about abolitionist frameworks.

Teaching allows me to fulfill the fundamental responsibility of criminologists: to effectively communicate accurate information about crime and criminality so students can be citizens who can make informed assessments regarding root causes of criminality and identify viable solutions to reduce crime (even when committed by authority figures). There are basic criminal justice principles that should be understood by college-educated students about race, social class, and the construction of difference. Of course, it’s true that students need to understand how the criminal justice system works, but it’s even more important that students understand how socialization processes influence their perceptions of crime and justice in America today.

 "I offer opportunities for students to critically engage in communities of color, with women in city council, with religious institutions that are taking on criminal justice issues, and even with activist groups who challenge the status quo. My greatest asset as an instructor is the connections I can make for them to fulfill their dreams. I never try to make students think how I think but opening their mind to diverse perspectives allows them to walk in someone else’s shoes. This will allow students to take more empathetic and empowering decisions while on duty."