Festival of Scholars

An annual celebration of research, scholarship, and creativity

April 27 - May 1, 2015

Experiential Learning in Criminal Justice

Date: Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Time: 10:30am - 11:35am
Location: Lundring Events Center
Description: In this panel session, students will showcase various forms of experiential learning in Criminal Justice. The student presentations include highlights and experiences emerging from their internship and service-learning courses. All are welcome!

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Student Abstracts at this Session

Ryan Decker

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Helen Lim
Understanding Delinquency Prevention and Intervention Strategies at an After-School Program

Successful after school programs play a significant role in the prevention and intervention of juvenile delinquency, also impacting overall offending among juveniles. Programs like the Boys and Girls Club (B&GC) of America provide a “positive, safe, healthy, and fun environment that empowers youth to become responsible individuals and citizens of tomorrow.” Through my criminology service-learning course, I was able to directly apply what I was learning about theories and responses to juvenile delinquency, including Travis Hirschi’s social bonding theory, by providing meaningful service to the B&GC of Simi Valley. My main service included compiling data. The data included court-mandated juveniles assigned to community service at the B&GC as part of Ventura County's intervention efforts. Through my analysis, I was able to identify the kinds of delinquent behavior and the characteristics of the court-mandated juveniles within Ventura County, and other offending patterns through this secondary-data analysis.

Kimberly Hurdelbrink

Faculty Mentor:
Mr. Thomas Cady
Inmate Services: Evaluating the Efficacy of the Substance Abuse Program

Inmate Services is one of the offices within the Todd Road Jail Facility of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office. They coordinate education, work skill development, and substance abuse programs in the jail to help rehabilitate inmates so that they can be more productive members of society once they are released. My internship has been to help Inmate Services design a way to evaluate the efficacy of the substance abuse program. The main piece of information we wanted to look at was the recidivism rates of the participants in the program since this is one of the key factors used to determine the success of rehabilitation programs. Through this internship I have had the opportunity to see the inner workings of a jail, experience office politics, inter-agency, and governmental bureaucracy, appreciate how important humor can be, and realize that we are not always lucky enough to see the results of our work.

Michelle Ritenour

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Helen Lim
Service-Learning through Research: Therapy Options for Victims of Child Trafficking

Human trafficking is the third largest source of revenue and the second largest criminal industry in the world today, only second behind drug trafficking. ZOE is a faith-based international organization that focuses on rescuing children who are victims of human trafficking and child prostitution slavery. Through my criminology service-learning course, not only was I able to deepen my understanding of the complexities concerning human trafficking, but also provide meaningful service for ZOE. ZOE is currently considering various therapy options, and my research for ZOE sought to find therapeutic options for victims of human trafficking. I found many innovative and effective therapy options that I presented to ZOE, including animal therapy, dance therapy, and game-based cognitive behavioral therapy. My contributions through research can ultimately impact the approaches ZOE uses in rehabilitating victims of child-trafficking.

Brittni Thomas

Faculty Mentor:
Dr. Thomas Cady
Restorative Justice--Second Chances

I recently completed an internship with Offender Aid and Restoration (OAR) in Virginia. OAR gives second chances to offenders by providing reentry services such as job placement, transportation fee waivers, jail based services, and assistance with completing court ordered community service hours as an alternative to more punitive forms of sentencing. As case managers, we adhered to the principles of restorative justice in which offenders are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions but at the same time receive the necessary support to begin a new life outside of crime. I also saw the real world application of concepts such as peace making theory which is the idea that society needs to share responsibility for the restoration of offenders. This internship has given me a better understanding of how the criminal justice system operates and confidence that I am adequately prepared to begin a career in this field.