06:40 PM

Criminal Justice Student Searches for Answers Outside Classroom

Joslyn Castello is a UHD criminal justice student with gumption.

While taking the course Race and Crime with Lecturer Judith Harris, Castello was moved by the famed case Powell vs. Alabama and the story of the Scottsboro Boys. The Scottsboro Boys were nine African-American teenagers accused of rape in Alabama in 1931. "The case includes a fameup, all-white jury, rushed trials, an attempted lynching, angry mobs, and miscarriage of justice," according to Wikipedia.com.

"This case was so important and I wanted to know more about it," Castello said. "As we got deeper into the case in class, it got deeper and more personal for me. I was inspired."

During a family gathering in Alabama, Castello decided to drive 45 minutes out of her way to visit the town of Scottsboro in order to do some investigating of her own.

Castello said, "Most the town's people didn't want to talk about it. They seemed ashamed, which makes it even more sad to me."

But I spoke with a woman who is establishing a museum in honor of the event and I think it's important for everyone to remember those boys and what happened to them."

Castello shared her experience in Scottsboro with the students in her class upon her return.

"She took amazing photos of what she saw and brought them to class," Harris said. "It brought the event to life for her classmates. They were so impressed that she went to the town and researched what we talked about in class."

Castello will graduate in 2013 with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and hopes to enter the juvenile corrections field.