Limerick Prison
Thursday, November 30, 2023

On Wednesday 29 November, LLM/MA in Human Rights in Criminal Justice students from UL benefited from experiential learning through an interactive visit to Limerick Prison, which is a fully operational prison. This experiential learning event provided students with a unique opportunity to enhance their knowledge and gain a deep and flexible understanding of some of the practicalities associated with the criminal justice and sentencing processes. The experiential learning event was informative and transformative bringing students’ classroom learning to life in a real-world criminal justice environment.

 

The prison visit typically debunks myths and stereotypes of prison life and offenders. This is important in terms of facilitating graduate students with a unique opportunity for affective learning and to experience how the interactive experiential learning event was informative and transformative concerning (perceived) personal ambivalence toward offenders, criminal justice policies and practice. Prior to the interactive visit to the prison, students’ attitudes toward offenders and the criminal justice process might typically have been shaped by stereotypes and media images which the interactive learning event facilitated a unique opportunity to debunk.

 

Experiential learning opportunities for our LLM/MA in Human Rights in Criminal Justice graduate students is greatly beneficial for stimulating critical thinking and engagement, and active learning that academic seminars could not accomplish on the same level. Students gained firsthand experience of the prison environment and gained a deep in-sight into the workings of a fully operational prison. The interactive experiential learning event is greatly beneficial for student learning and understanding by removing discussion in academic seminars from the abstract and facilitates a deep and flexible understanding of some of the practicalities associated with criminal justice and sentencing processes.