December 9, 2023

Criminal justice students tour English prisons

Origins of the Criminal Justice System

USU Eastern criminal justice students pose in front of the white church in the White Chapel District on the “Jack the Ripper Tour”

The criminal justice students took a trip to London in the beginning of June 2023. The trip was named “The Origins of the Criminal Justice System.” What the criminal justice system is today is based on what was learned from the English when settling in the United States. 

    The two-week trip was planned by professor Scott Henrie, in Price, and Dr. Jason Twede in Tooele. 

   “Dr. Twede took this to heart and planned out the entire trip,” Henrie said. “From lodging to transportation around England and many activities we did, I was his backup and helped to teach the students what they would see when we took our trip. It was a joint effort but he was the main force behind getting it off the ground.”

   The group saw an old police building known as Scotland Yard. This old police building had historical items related to law enforcement as well as a tavern called The Forty Elephants. The tavern was from the first women gang in England back in the 1800s. The buildings contained stolen items from before it was abandoned and historical art on the wall of ladies’ faces from the gang.

   They also saw one of the first prisons in England called The Marshalsea Prison. All that is currently left of the prison is on a single wall.

    Henrie said The Marshalsea Prison was the prison where Charles Dickens’s father was incarcerated. Dickens wrote the novel Little Dorrit, mentioning the prison which made it famous. They also visited one of the earlier prisons known as The Clink which was established in the 12 century and was functioning until 1780.

   In addition to the previous, they also went to multiple castles and cathedrals. Henrie said they went to these places because religion played a huge part in the immigration from England to America. 

    He also stated which castles they visited while there which consisted of: The Bridge Castle, Leasowe in Liverpool, the Dover Castle on the edges of the White Cliffs of Dover, and the Edinburgh castle.”

   On the trip they did a few side things like a Jack the Ripper Tour, Harry Potter Train Platform and the Abbey Road street crossing of the Beatles as well as the Cavern in Liverpool which was the first place that the Beatles started playing.

   “We tried to introduce the culture of Great Britain to the students.” Henrie said.

    Twede and Henrie are hopeful that the students were able to walk away with further knowledge about the criminal justice system. Specifically where criminal justice history began and how it has transformed into and is now what is taught in classes.

   “We started with a look at where democracy began, with the signing of the Magna Carta that was signed in 1215 between King John of England, lords, and barons. We took the students to the actual location in Runnymede, which was only about an hour train ride away. 

    They saw the Old Bailey courts in session and how criminal justice was first formed and what it developed into. We even took the students to where they used to hang the pirates just down The River Thames from the Bridge Castle.”

   The advisers hope to take this trip with criminal justice students every other year. This would leave the next trip starting in summer 2025. 

    Henrie said as advisors running the trip they learned things they can change to make it better. They also found new sites that they want to take students to in the future. 

    He learned of a trip in Ireland that they are finalizing plans and costs for, to hopefully have it ready to go at the beginning of spring 2024. This trip will be called Corrections in Ireland where the trip would focus specifically on the prisons there.