Seton Hall University has just completed its first ever Criminal Justice Summer Institute this August. The program was created for high school students interested in exploring careers in the field of Criminal Justice. Dr. John Paitakes, Senior Faculty Associate in the Department of Criminal Justice, designed the one-week Institute and administered the program.
The Institute’s curriculum highlighted the three major components of the Criminal Justice system: law enforcement, courts and corrections.
The students, all of whom were either high school sophomores, juniors or seniors, participated in discussions and lectures with law enforcement officers working in the field, had a tour of a county jail and visited a police academy. Students also participated in a simulated weapon firing, and they met with prison inmates who discussed prison life. In addition, a Forensic Scientist also discussed with participants what has come to be known as the “CSI Effect”; rather that is the effect the television show has had on what many jurors expect from forensics today.
Students commented in writing about their positive experience in the Institute. One student said: “I really enjoyed learning about all the types of jobs in the Criminal Justice field, like police, FBI, Secret Service, Customs and the Border Patrol. This program has opened my eyes.”
As a result of the success of this program, the Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies plans on expanding its offerings to high school students, and will feature an expanded Criminal Justice Institute next summer. Offering the Institute for college credit is also under consideration.
Criminal Justice Professor John Paitakes, who designed and coordinated the program, said, “It was encouraging and exciting to see the immense interest in Criminal Justice from high school students.”
The Division of Continuing Education and Professional Studies at Seton Hall University offers credit and non-credit courses year-round that meet the life-long learning needs of the community and region.
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