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Prison and court visits to form key part of university degree

30 August 2012

STUDENTS are set to gain a vital insight in to prison life as part of a revamped degree course.

Glynd┼Ár University’s BA (Hons) Criminology and Criminal Justice degree will involve visits to a prison in the North West of England, along with the chance to see crown court proceedings at first hand.

According to senior lecturer Dr Sarah Dubberley the innovations, which will also include guest lectures at the university from high-profile figures, are aimed at giving students more hands-on experience at the cutting edge of professional practice.

She said: “We have been speaking to a number of organisations who can provide practical opportunities for students to see the criminal justice system in operation at all levels.

“Being able to see theory in practice is a key part of our vision for the course and will play an important role in shaping our students for a career in criminology and criminal justice.”

At the prison students will be able to speak to prisoners and staff, while guest speakers are set to include senior figures who have worked in the sector.

Sarah said: “We have completely reshaped the course for 2012 onwards.

“All of the staff on the course have professional experience and are engaged in research, so to be able to share our experience with students and bring them to life in a practical sense will be fantastic.”

Among the research conducted by the criminology and criminal justice team at the university is a survey on the misuse of prescription drugs. Working with colleagues at the University of Glamorgan, Professor Odette Parry and Dr Caroline Gorden have looked at this emerging issue and its impact among university staff and students.

Caroline said: “Research in the United States shows an increase in the non-medical use of prescription drugs among young people and although there is some indication to suggest that a similar pattern in emerging here in the UK, we have seen relatively little research attention paid to the problems associated with the misuse of drugs available on prescription, with much of the focus being on illegal drugs.

“Through this research we aim to tackle that. The results are currently being collated and we are looking forward to publishing the data in the near future.”

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