CCJ Study Away Spring Break Trip

For spring break, Dr. Alison Burke and Dr. John King had the pleasure of accompanying 23 SOU students to Northern Ireland and Ireland as part of a study away class tilted: CCJ 399: Police and Prisons in Ireland. The class, which met throughout Fall term 2018, culminated with the study abroad component for 8 days during spring break. During the Fall term, the class discussed crime control issues associated with the criminal justice system in both countries, including the time of conflict known as the Troubles, drug and mental health policies, and restorative justice. This set the stage for the experiential section of the class…the trip to Ireland! 

The group started in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where it had a whirlwind tour of the city. We toured the Crumlin Road Gaol (jail) which opened in 1846 and was known as Europe’s Alcatraz. We had a guided tour of the “peace wall” from University of Winchester Professor, Dr. Alan Gratton and learned about the mediation and reconciliation work from staff at Corrymeela. Before departing Belfast, we had the honor of meeting with the Police Services of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and touring their facility and memorial grounds.

In Dublin, the group met with youth service providers, a barrister from the Dublin Criminal Courts, and toured the grounds of Trinity College. Academic visits were interlaced with trips to the northern and western coasts, a visit to the medieval town of Limerick, and much more!

While the students have their favorite parts of the trip, the general consensus is that the overall trip was AMAZING. Some talked about wanting to return to volunteer with the mediation center, while others talked about wanting to move to Ireland period.

From a faculty perspective, there is nothing quite so rewarding as taking students abroad. Traveling with students is experiential learning that takes the classroom into the real word and takes the students out of their comfort zones. It challenges them with new experiences and gives them a new confidence to soar. 

Join us next year for Amsterdam and The Hague!
CCJ class meets Fall term and travels during spring break. 

Contact Dr. Burke for more information burkea@sou.edu