Coventry criminology students talk juvenile justice with top New York judge

A group of criminology students from Coventry University met with a leading judge and advocate for juvenile justice on a recent fact finding trip to New York.

CU Criminology at NYCJJ

The students led by the University’s criminology course director Tim Turner, met with Michael Corriero, Executive Director of the New York Centre for Juvenile Justice (NYCJJ) in January.

A judge for twenty-eight years in the Criminal Courts of the State of New York, Mr Corriero set up the Centre to promote justice for young offenders in New York, many of whom are tried and sentenced as adults rather than minors and, as a result, often face long, mandatory prison sentences.

The students gained a valuable insight into the way children under 18 years of age are judged and treated in New York courts, and witnessed first-hand the Centre’s efforts to reform the system.

During the course of their visit the students also attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the largest institution of its kind in the world, and took in the 9/11 memorial. The visit was coordinated by Coventry University’s International Experience and Mobility Service (IEMS), which helps students and graduates with work experience and learning opportunities abroad to boost their career prospects.

It is anticipated that the trip to New York will be an annual event and in future students will be able to get credits for overseas study visits as part of a new Global Experience in Criminology module being introduced this year. Judge Corriero is also keen to forge close links with the University and to develop an internship programme at the NYCJJ for criminology students who are interested in working with young offenders within the justice system.

Tim Turner, course director of Criminology at Coventry University, said: “Coventry University promotes genuinely innovative and exciting international experiences for its students and this educational excursion to New York is testimony to that philosophy.

“I know that those who took part gained tremendously from the experience and it’s given them a deeper understanding of the justice system within an international context by allowing them to witness at close quarters the work of an organisation which is committed to legal reform.

“Several of the them are keen to return to the New York Centre for Juvenile Justice on internship and that’s something we’re keen to facilitate – building on our already strong links with international institutions – as it would provide our students with an amazing opportunity to live and work in the heart of Manhattan, whilst gaining invaluable experience.

“We’re in discussions with the New York Centre for Juvenile Justice as to how we can formalise this arrangement.”