Criminal justice students gear up to take on Louisiana

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Megan Nicholson

Staff Writer

Louisiana Here We Come!

The Criminal Justice Student Association (CJSA) will be taking its annual trip to the State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana this year.

The reason Angola was chosen for Apr. 14, 2016 trip was due to Angola State Penitentiary’s allowance that visitors may interact with inmates. When the students go they will be able to touch, speak with and even eat lunch with the inmates.

According to the penitentiary rules, as many people as can legally fit into one vehicle may enter. The cost for each student is $100.

“We are taking a tour bus, and I told the student they had to pay when they signed up, and we filled the spots within two weeks,” said Mary Pyle, Professor- Criminal Justice.

So far this year, the group has had two bake sales to help raise money and also requested funds from SSFAC for the trip. The money they raise is put into an account to save up for future trips and to help cover the cost of T- shirts, water bottles, pencils and other CJSA items for when students become paid members of CJSA.

This trip is for CJSA paid members only. “I had to cap the number of students that get to go off at 50,” said Pyle.

“I feel like this is a great learning experience for my future career and I’m excited to see how the justice system works and how it all comes together,” said Amy Curtis, second-term Paralegal major and member of CJSA. “I am most excited to visit the 5th circuit court, because I hope to end up somewhere just like that one day. Also, I think that the prison rodeo will be very interesting.”

When the CJSA students go to Angola Prison, they are also going to the Prison Rodeo. It is the longest running prison rodeo in the United States. It is held on one weekend in April and on every Sunday in October. On each occasion, thousands of visitors enter the prison complex for the rodeo.

“It is a little eerie to think that we will be with the criminals and that we will be able to make contact with the execution objects, but I am more than excited and cannot wait until April,” said Treounah Wiggins, Criminal Justice major and member of CJSA. “I’m already counting down the days till we leave.”

For more information on CJSA, contact Mary Pyle at mpyle@tjc.edu. For more information on the Louisiana state penitentiary, visit the website http://www.doc.la.gov/pages/correctional-facilities/louisiana-state-penitentiary/

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