An Inside Look at the Criminal Justice System: Visiting Cheshire Correctional & Meeting with Inmates Serving Life Sentences

  • School Year: 2019-2020
  • Applicants: Jessica Palliardi, Lead Teacher
  • School: Hall High School
  • Subjects: Social Studies

This project, An Inside Look at the Criminal Justice System: Visiting Cheshire Correctional & Meeting with Inmates Serving Life Sentences, allows students to gain an inside look at the U.S. criminal justice system as part of the Introduction to Sociology Course by visiting and touring Cheshire Correctional Institute in Cheshire, CT. This is a Level 4 (high security) state prison that houses adult offenders who are serving long sentences. In Sociology, students are involved in an extensive unit on the criminal justice system where they learn about crime classifications (misdemeanors & felonies), jails versus prisons, bail, probation & parole, the inner workings of the prison system, prison population demographics, racial disparities in prisons, prisoners as laborers, mental health issues in prisons, and incarceration as a form of social control. The field trip to Cheshire Correctional will allow students to see prison as a microcosm of society (with its own subculture and norms) and learn about the real "people" behind bars- not just the "criminals". Additionally, we will meet with a panel of men serving life sentences, offering a unique perspective of incarcerated individuals who know they will never get out of prison. They will also be given a thorough tour which includes: the intake area, mental health ward, and solitary confinement cells.

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