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Criminals' lessons are invaluable to students

By The Collective Opinion of The Setonian's Editorial Board
On April 19, 2012

 

For several years, criminals who have developed good prison records have been given the opportu­nity to come to Seton Hall and speak to students in criminal justice classes. While some may undoubt­edly feel somewhat uneasy at the idea of having convicted criminals on campus, it is important to point out the invaluable lessons that can be gener­ated from this kind of interaction.

Having people who have learned hard life les­sons, committed crimes or made mistakes, and who are now paying the price, come to talk about their experiences is a truly invaluable education. For criminal justice students, they are able to see how the system they study works. They are able to see people who have been sent to jail, and how that experience has changed them. That is an education that cannot be found in textbooks.

The Setonian applauds those responsible for this ongoing initiative, and believes that the continua­tion of the experience is pivotal for students study­ing in the field. Regardless of what initial judgments may be about it, the program has continued to be well received by those involved.

It is evident, as is mentioned in the story on page one this week, that the inmates value the experi­ence as well. Not only are they able to tell their stories, in the hope that they can educate young people about not making the same mistakes, they are also able to interact with students during the sessions. That can only be viewed as a positive for all involved, especially those receiving the educa­tion.

Textbooks simply are not enough sometimes. The best education comes from truly being immersed in something. These kinds of programs are exactly the kinds that should continue to thrive at SHU.


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