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Criminal justice tours detention center

Corrections+students+in+front+of++Panola+County+Detention+Center.
Corrections students in front of  Panola County Detention Center.

Corrections students in front of Panola County Detention Center.

Crystal Vasquez

Crystal Vasquez

Corrections students in front of Panola County Detention Center.

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“Classroom and beyond! The corrections tour provides exposure to the practical application,” says Criminal Justice Professor Mark Dickerson.

On November 6, Panola College criminal justice students attended a tour of the Panola County Detention Center. Dickerson accompanied the class throughout the tour. Students gained practical knowledge of operations within a county jail. The tour was approximately two hours long; L.T. Trina McMullen was head of the tour. She provided detailed information about the facility, the career and personal experience. The facility currently holds 45 offenders with the potential to hold up to 160.

The Panola County Detention Center was built in June of 2009. The facility has surpassed standards by passing every jail inspection and providing quality food to offenders. The facility is secure and clean providing safety for both offenders and officers. Modern safety equipment and procedures ensure the facility runs smoothly. Students were able to see the facility with little restrictions. “A law is only as good as someones willingness to enforce it,” is a quote by Sheriff Kevin Lake, displayed above the intake area.

The tour consisted of a walk through of cell blocks, medical, recreation areas and the kitchen. While touring cells, students were able to enter the cell and receive first-hand exposure. The facility accommodates different classifications of offenders; the facility places offenders accordingly. Students gained knowledge of different classification titles of offenders and how they are housed.

Students seemed eager and motivated to ask questions  and take in the experience. The tour of the facility, as well as classroom lecture, give students a complete perspective, which may not be attained without the exposure of a real life detention facility. Students were eager to discuss their experience afterwards.

“I love the way Panola County Detention Center provides hot meals, in-house medical and does not dehumanize offenders,” says Breanne Pereles.

“This is a very good learning experience and great way to witness life within jail,” says Chelsea Ener.

“I liked the ability to see how offenders live and their everyday life within county jail,” says Alicia Gillispe.

 

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