It's amazing how much one class can change your entire outlook. I've always wanted to pursue a career in federal law enforcement and had one way of thinking about most things related to the field. But then I took SOC-350 Punishment and Society. It's easily my favorite class I've taken because it's the most relevant course to my interests. Before the class I was very pro-law enforcement and had views that were very harsh towards criminals. After taking the class, I maintained a pro-law enforcement view but am now able to see the flaws of the criminal justice system, which removes a lot of my blame on criminals. I learned a lot about my views and am now very in favor of reform in our nation's punishment system.
Add to that some real-world experience and the courses really come alive for me. First, I was involved in an independent internship during the winter of 2013 with the Bucks County District Attorney's Office. This was my first experience in law enforcement, and it solidified my desire to pursue a career in that field. I was able to do hands-on police and investigative work for the district attorneys. From reading the newspaper it has been rewarding to see the impact my work has had on criminal convictions.
I am also currently working on an internship through the Arlin M. Adams Center for Law and Society. This internship deals with quantitative research at Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). The work I have done thus far is rewarding because we are analyzing the most impactive variables related to the abuse and neglect of children in the counties surrounding SU. If CASA is able to use our findings to help prevent or better look out for children who have been harmed, then I will feel extremely rewarded. Even if our findings do not result in change, at least CASA will be better able to understand which children are vulnerable for neglect by their parents/guardians.