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Video: Students Experience Rehabilitating Inmates Inside Harris County Jail

Criminal justice majors at the University of Houston-Downtown are putting their education to work



Criminal justice students at the University of Houston-Downtown are getting a hands-on education thanks to a unique collaboration between the school and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

The program, which is only open to seniors, allows students to assist professional counselors in the rehabilitation of inmates inside the Harris County Jail.

“You’re getting them the help they need,” says Erica Pardo, a student at UH-Downtown. “You get to have that bond with a person.”

And Judith Hill, Ph.D., an assistant professor of criminal justice at the school, says the program is helping her students understand what they’ll experience once they enter the workforce.

“I’m hoping they’re learning their textbooks aren’t lying,” says Hill. “This is their discipline; this is what they signed up for.”

This story originally aired on PBS NewsHour Weekend on Saturday, April 11. PBS NewsHour Weekend airs Saturdays and Sundays at 6 p.m. on TV 8.