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Published: June 26, 2024

Students View Criminal Justice System Through Different Lens

A group of students studying criminology and criminal justice recently got a firsthand look at how the justice system works in another country. 

Ten students and two faculty members spent two weeks comparing the criminal justice system in Argentina to that of the United States. 

Students View Criminal Justice System Through Different LensTen students spent two weeks in Argentina on a faculty-led course, comparing the criminal justice system to that of the United States. Photo courtesy of Louisa Wilson '25

Matthew Schlegel ’25, a sociology major, found out about the travel course, CRM 248: Comparative Criminal Justice Systems, in a law enforcement class. 

“I don’t think I could do a full semester (abroad),” Schlegel said. “Two weeks was appealing. It was the perfect amount of time.”

In the future, Schlegel hopes to become a police officer.

The students toured Instituto Superior de Educación de la Policía, the police academy, where they learned about requirements, how fire and police recruits are trained, how warrants are executed and what goes into training the K9 dogs. 

They also met a judge and learned what it entails to become one. They toured the Department of Justice, and talked with the minister of justice and a member of his staff.

They saw the supreme courts and Centro de monitoreo, the CCTV camera station, where officers monitor the city of Buenos Aires. 

Louisa Wilson ’25, a criminology and criminal justice major, said this was her first experience traveling to South America.

“I was super interested in the location itself, and then of course, because my major is criminal justice, that was just the cherry on top,” she said. 

Wilson, who is in Army ROTC, hopes to work in intelligence when she enters the Army after graduation.

A highlight of the trip for her was visiting the police academy, because it was similar to the training she is familiar with in ROTC.

“They got to use virtual reality simulators, and we also have that,” she said. “So I was very impressed with the technology they had. I think I had an impression that maybe the United States was a little further ahead.”

For Schlegel, the police academy was also a favorite, because it is also similar to what he wants to do after college. 

Another highlight, he said, was an empanada cooking class.

“It was a good bonding night,” he said.

Wilson agreed that the class, taught by a local was a standout experience.

“It was really awesome.”

  

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