Criminal Justice Administration Alumna Leading Region's Efforts to Prevent Reincarceration Alumni Profile
Meet Alethia Bush
- Job Title & Employer
- Founder, The Center for Successful Reentry
- Criminal Justice Administration-M.S.
- April 2011
- Pittsburgh, Pa.
- High School
- Perry Traditional Academy
- Now Living In
- Pittsburgh, Pa. (Manchester neighborhood)
- Hobbies & Interests
Traveling, music and movies
Alethia is also a case manager/outreach coordinator for the Pittsburgh A. Philip Randolph Institute.
"Alethia's leadership is creative and innovative. She is passionate about her work and has truly added value and depth to the Pittsburgh A. Philip Randolph Institute."
"Point Park University provided me with the moral support, research and critical thinking skills I needed to explore and pursue my academic interests. During my time at Point Park, my concentration of graduate study was on reentry, recidivism and women in the criminal justice system."
What factors made you choose Point Park’s Master of Science in criminal justice administration program?
I wanted to expand my academic knowledge and increase my income earning potential while maintaining my day job and commuting a reasonable distance to school from my home. Point Park was perfect! It was seven minutes away from home, offered Saturday classes and a criminal justice administration graduate program led by knowledgeable, well-connected faculty who have served as professionals in the field.
As founder of The Center for Successful Reentry, tell us about the work you do.
I consult and collaborate with other public and private organizations to develop and implement programs and initiatives intended to assist individuals with a criminal background toward becoming empowered and self-sufficient through the attainment of housing, service coordination, employment and training.
How have your Point Park classes helped you succeed in this position?
Point Park University provided me with the moral support, research and critical thinking skills I needed to explore and pursue my academic interests. During my time at Point Park, my concentration of graduate study was on reentry, recidivism and women in the criminal justice system.
I completed an internship at the Allegheny County Jail and that was the beginning of my career. Between my academic studies and internship experience, I learned various aspects of criminal justice from the origins of criminal behavior and the factors that lead to this behavior to the difference between male and female offenders and the variables that are necessary to decrease their chances of reincarceration.
From this foundation, I learned what has been proven to support a successful reentry and build my business initiatives accordingly. In addition to leading a reentry organization, I am also pursuing a doctoral degree in criminal justice so I can teach other college students about recidivism and reentry issues. All of these endeavors would not be possible without the foundation provided to me by Point Park University.
Do you have a favorite Point Park memory?
Graduation. During the pursuit of my master’s degree, I developed several wonderful relationships with members of my cohort. We grew from being classmates to friends. We all shared each other’s struggles and supported one another personally, as well as academically.
When we gathered for graduation, I remember how happy and proud we were. We celebrated each other’s accomplishments and demonstrated true support and friendship for each other.
What career advice do you have for our criminal justice administration graduate students?
1. Utilize your resources to the fullest! Ask your professors all the questions you can think of — the only stupid question is the one you have, but do not ask. Be a sponge and absorb all the wisdom they have to give, because they can provide knowledge and real-time experiences that your textbooks cannot.
2. Believe in yourself. You have everything you need to succeed and become a catalyst for change. While the journey can be frustrating and difficult, persevere and know that in the end, the reward will greatly outweigh the obstacles you encounter.
3. Understand your role as a criminal justice professional. No matter what side of an issue you choose, there is no room for judgment or bias. As a professional, the decisions you make should be based on facts and evidence, not personal opinions or bias. For example, as a reentry professional, my role is to help anyone with a criminal record obtain tools for self-sufficiency. This includes murderers, sex offenders, drug dealers, ANYBODY. If they come to me for help, it is my professional duty to put my personal feelings aside and use what I’ve learned in this program and throughout my career to support their successful reentry the best way that I can.
Photo by Brandy Richey, senior multimedia major