California State University, Northridge’s Department of Criminology and Justice Studies is less than a year old, but its students are already working closely with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office to help officials there evaluate the effectiveness of some of its programs.
Two teams of students spent about two hours last month briefing Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer and other members of the City Attorney’s Office staff and legal team about what they learned about two of the office’s programs — the Prostitution Diversion Project and Neighborhood Justice Program — as well as ways the students thought the programs could be improved.
Vickie Jensen, chair of the Department of Criminology and Justice Studies, called the relationship a “wonderful opportunity” for both institutions.
“The City Attorney’s Office gets to tap into the talent of our students, who can provide a fresh perspective on some of its programs,” she said. “Our students get an opportunity to learn firsthand what goes on in our justice system, and realize that justice in America extends beyond what happens with the cop on the street or in the courtroom.”
Camilo Cruz, director of the Community Justice Initiative (CJI) for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, called the input from the students invaluable.
“By partnering with CSUN and other campuses, students help CJI change the nature of traditional justice and engender new modes of civil engagement and restorative justice administration to enhance safety,” Cruz said.
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