Criminal justice to jail and back

Field trips are an important part of any class, but they play a large role in criminal justice II. The class takes a field trip to the local prison every year.

“We go through where you would go had you been arrested, and you go through the whole process of going to prison,” Senior Jason Caputo said.

The class goes through the whole process, from start to finish, of being arrested and taken to prison.

“When we do go in, they take our names, our pictures, and then we go and see a magistrate,” Caputo said.

While at the prison the students get to see the inside, and how it works.

“We get to see the minimum and medium security areas, as well as the actual cells and common areas,” Caputo said.

In the minimum and medium security sections, the prisoners have a fair amount of freedom.

“We saw prisoners watching television and playing board games in medium security, and they had flat screen televisions,” senior Paul Betzold said.

The prison the class went to goes against almost all stereotypes of prisons.

“There were two gymnasiums, one indoor and one outdoor, and in both of them there were no weight sets, they only had cardio stuff,” Betzold said.

Betzold continued, stating he believed as the reason was for safety.

“They probably don’t have the weights because they don’t want the inmates to get really buff,” Betzold said.

Talking to people who are in the field of criminal justice is another perk of this trip.

“We got to spend some time with the sheriff’s deputy and talk with him,” Caputo said.

The trip to prison can be helpful to people in the class who plan to go into criminal justice.

“Some people in this class plan to go into the field of law enforcement, and this trip is a good opportunity to learn about it,” Caputo said.

The students also learn to appreciate the freedoms that they have outside of prison.

“It really makes me appreciate everyday life, and the little day freedoms that we have.” Betzold said, “Like the ability to go outside whenever I want, and just do whatever.”

The trip to prison is also a good way to keep students from participating in criminal activities.

“This trip is also a really good way to scare us from doing any stupid stuff,” Caputo said.

Some of the students on the trip were scared like little kittens.

“It was really scary, I wouldn’t want to go back on a visit, even to the women’s prison,” senior Sam Stallings said.

Prison is not all work for the criminal justice class, there is still time for fun and games.

“When we went into one of the cells, we accidentally got locked in, and then Paul [Betzold] dropped the soap. It was hilarious,” Stallings said.

While the students were walking through the prison, they came face to face with some of the inmates.

“Two inmates actually were walking in the same hallway as us, unescorted,” Caputo said.  “They stopped and faced the wall when we walked by them.”

Prison helped some of the students to learn about how the inmates are imprisoned.

Betzold said, “The trip helped me understand how truly locked up the prisoners are.”