LBW alum to teach criminal justice at alma mater

Published 9:00 pm Monday, August 3, 2020

By: Donnamy Steele

Lurleen B. Wallace Community College will be adding a criminal justice course to the curriculum for the first time this fall. LBWCC alumnus Brett Taylor will be teaching CRJ 100, Introduction to Criminal Justice, and he is excited to come back to where his academic journey began.

“It feels like I’m coming full circle, which speaks to the fact that we always come back to where we come from in some way,” Taylor said. “LBW gave me a good foundation for everything I did, so being back and able to teach here feels good.”

Taylor received his Associate’s Degree in General Science magna cum laude from LBWCC, a Bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Troy University in Political Science and his Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Troy University.

Taylor is currently a middle school social studies teacher at Dothan Preparatory Academy as well as an adjunct instructor at LBWCC. Although, teaching was not his original goal.

“I graduated a few years ago from LBWCC and went on to AUM. I then transferred to Troy and earned a bachelor’s degree in government. Then I took a semester of law school and decided I wanted to teach instead,” Taylor said. “I accepted a position teaching middle school social studies and recently accepted this position.”

Taylor recommends students to consider attending a community college like LBWCC after high school.

“I would recommend a community college to everyone,” Taylor said. “You can save a ton of money and there are a ton of opportunities. You can have the same, if not better, experience at a community college than at a four-year university.”

Taylor believes this is the best time to introduce students to criminal justice.

“This is the first time this is being offered and that’s a good thing, especially right now,” Taylor said. “My academic background is in government, law, and criminal justice, so I already had an academic interest in it. It ties into current topics with protesting, the need for criminal justice reform, and the spotlight being put on justice. It makes this so timely because systems that have been in place for years are being criticized and all of the things that people are talking about didn’t happen overnight. It was over a long period of time and neglect is arguably some of the reasons why. Whether that be not taking care of our people or addressing the root causes of what these are, that’s what we are seeing now.”

The course will focus on timely topics, according to Taylor.

“Given the current political and legal climate of the world, this course is a very interesting addition to anyone’s academic toolbox,” Taylor said. “I will be covering the criminal justice system, the political and legal environment of criminal justice, criminal law, law enforcement, courts and sentencing, prisons, jails, and community corrections.”