The Criminal Justice Department held a workshop on Tuesday, April 6 for students interested in working with juveniles in local communities.The workshop featured speaker was Carolyn Atkins, director of the Swanson Center for Youth in Monroe.
The purpose for the workshop was to recruit juvenile criminal justice undergraduate and graduate students. “We are specifically looking for students who want to help with community service programs in this area,” Atkins said.
The workshops covered various topics including politics, encouraging youth and discipline within the home, which are all issues employees of the Swanson Center face daily. The Center is a secure government funded facility whose mission is to provide services to juveniles by accessing their needs.
“With freezes on all state jobs, recruiting students today would be great job prospects for them at our facility,” said Atkins.
The center merely house juvenile boys who have been placed in state custody for secure care by a judge. “Many of the children at our facility suffer from poor parenting, but making time for our youth is a must,” Atkins mentioned. The ratio between the African American males placed at the Swanson center is higher than the Caucasian males.
Atkins indicated that us as ‘a race’ should encourage our youth to want to do better as well as be better. However, trying to change an entire culture is a challenge. When working with the youth we should not ‘pick and choose’ but influence positive attitudes, but for the ones that we see are pushing for change, we continue to motivate them more- because at the end we cannot help them all.
Many of the criminal justice students were very motivated by the workshop presented.
“The students have truly showed their dedication and commitment to their department this year,” said Dr. Joyce Montgomery Scott, assistant professor, when asked about the student’s participation and faculty/staff appreciation held by the graduate students.
Along with contributing with the workshop, several graduate students conducted a ceremony for staff of the Criminal Justice Department.
Graduate student Reller Jones and fellow classmates conduct a banquet for department staff.
“Our faculty was completely unaware; we were so touched and honored,” said Dr. Scott.
Dr. Mahendra Singh, department head, mentioned that this was the first time students of the department held a banquet in honor of their professors. “Everyone was very touched and surprised at not only the amount of participation students gave but at the amount of time and dedication it had to be.