Spending time to learn about crime

By Sarah Penny

On Wednesday week ago, the Year 12 Social studies cohort was lucky enough to be a part of a Google MEET with Dr Jarrod Gilbert, Criminal Justice Director at the University of Canterbury. Although the talk was originally intended to be given at our annual Crime Seminar, which is organised each year to augment our learning, plans had to be modified due to the restrictions of Alert Level 4.  Dr Gilbert is well known in his field as an ethnographic researcher and author of a number of books including Patched: The History of Gangs in New Zealand.

Although at first we were challenged by the woes of technology, we were soon off and down the rabbit hole of learning.

It was interesting discussing our current justice system, and Dr Gilbert commented on how he hoped that in discussing current issues, some of the students may go on to find solutions for our justice system in the future. Whether that be tackling issues such as domestic violence and the high percentage of Pacifica and Māori that make up our prison numbers compared with Pākehā incarcerations. Dr Gilbert said he believed that in order to do more to lower crime rates, we should look into preventative measures, and targeting those at risk of future criminal acts, such as children.

He also talked about the variety of career options within criminal justice whether that be working with people as a social worker, counsellor or psychologist, to working in the Police, forensics, law, politics, policy-making, statistics analysis and a whole lot more.

We enjoyed hearing about Dr Gilbert’s ideas and work, and we thank him for making our online school lesson something unique. We will certainly take onboard his ideas for future study and potential career paths.

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