Graduate students on the LL.M./M.A. Human Rights in Criminal Justice masters programme gained a real-life insight into the prison environment during an educational tour of Limerick Prison organised by Course Director Dr Ger Coffey on Wednesday 23rd November.
Prison officers in charge of organising training and educational activities for the prisoners, as well as those with security and management responsibilities, discussed their roles with the students. This opportunity to meet with prison officers provided the opportunity for students to further their knowledge of criminal justice and sentencing issues and to bring their knowledge gained in academic seminars to light. The tour served to debunk stereotypical attitudes towards offenders, prison life and criminal justice policies that might typically have been shaped by the media.
Dr Ger Coffey, Course Director of the LL.M./M.A. Human Rights in Criminal Justice master’s programme, said:
“This was a unique opportunity for our students to experience the prison environment which served to remove discussion in seminars from the abstract and facilitated their understanding of policies and practicalities in the criminal justice and sentencing processes.”
The educational tour also served to stimulate critical thinking and active learning for graduate students that might not always be accomplished on the same level in academic seminars.