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BA (Hons) Youth Justice students visit the Galleries of Justice

On Wednesday 17 February, 35 BA (Hons) Youth Justice first-year students were taken on a visit to the historic Galleries of Justice, located in the heart of Nottingham city centre.

On Wednesday 17 February 2016, 35 BA (Hons) Youth Justice first-year students were taken on a visit to the Galleries of Justice, accompanied by Senior Lecturer, Mark Bower and Course Administrator, Lydia Coles.

The trip included a crime and punishment tour, during which the students were shown around the Youth Court. This was followed by a talk concerning the functions of the court and a visit to the old Crown Court, which was also accompanied by an associated talk.

The annual trip for first-year students has been running for nine years and is an integral part of the curriculum. It helps students to contextualise their classroom learning, particularly on the Evolution of the Youth Justice System module, where students are taught how children in trouble with the law have been dealt with since the early 1800s.

The visit to the Galleries of Justice was a terrifically visual and tangible experience – one that was steeped in the history of crime and punishment. This had a particularly local flavour, as students were able to experience how Nottinghamshire children were dealt with and see the cells they might have found themselves in.

One student described how the group was escorted down to the caves and cells where it was uncomfortably cold (despite all of the students wrapping up in layers of clothing in advance): "You could feel the history of the place, when you looked into 'the pit' we could really empathise with the young prisoners... how they had to sleep on the freezing cold floor."

Some of the students' lingering recollections of the trip involved being shown examples of instruments of punishment. As Youth Justice students Maxine Robinson, Ahnya Hickling and Kristel George recalled: "There was a machine there, like a box with stones in, that they called 'The Crank'. Child prisoners were forced to turn the box with a handle thousands of times a day. We were shown how the prison officers could tighten the screw on the handle of the box to make it harder to turn. This is where the term 'Screw' (a nickname for prison officers still very much in use today) originated".

The learning experiences on the trip link to the students' forthcoming second year module, The Secure Estate, where students are taught how forms of incarceration have changed (or remained unchanged!) over the years.

Find out more about the BA (Hons) Youth Justice course. 

BA (Hons) Youth Justice students visit the Galleries of Justice

Published on 10 March 2016
  • Category: Press office; School of Social Sciences

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