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Innovation in Juvenile Justice Reform: Preparing the Next Generation of Juvenile Justice Leaders

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B-CU Students Represent the Inaugural Class of Juvenile Justice Reform Certification

Program Graduates

Seven (7) students from the B-CU criminal justice program participated in the first class of the Florida Historically Black College and Universities Talent Pipeline Project funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation (FL HBCUs). Arrington Davis, Patrice Dixon, De’Andre Gainer, Jaleel Johnson, India Spence, Melvin Thompson, and Quamaine Woods, now graduates of B-CU, received the Juvenile Justice Reform Certificate for completing coursework that serves as a national model for criminal justice professionals coming out of college. Bethune-Cookman University served as the lead institution for the collaborative, which includes Edward Waters College, Florida A & M University, and Florida Memorial University. Each institution developed a specific juvenile justice reform course for collective use by the partnership. One of the primary goals of the project is to provide future juvenile justice professionals with cutting-edge knowledge and tools necessary to advance juvenile justice reform efforts.

While participating, students were surveyed to analyze their opinion on how they felt the courses increased their knowledge of the juvenile justice reform efforts. Students took a pre-test prior to their first course and a post-test after completion determining their increase in knowledge of the juvenile justice system. By the end of the certificate program, a higher percentage of students strongly agreed that race and gender did not play a role in in the juvenile justice system in America. However, at post-test students strongly agreed that the juvenile justice system did in fact discriminate based on race and gender. “This change in opinion and understanding demonstrates that the courses affectedly assisted students with obtaining more knowledge and can result in these students being change agents in the Criminal Justice System in the near future,” said Program Coordinator, Dr. Randy Nelson. Students earning a “C” grade or higher in the four required courses are eligible to receive the Juvenile Justice Reform Certificate of Completion.

Florida HBCUs Talent Pipeline Project represents more than 2,000 criminal justice majors receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees and serves as an innovative and nationally recognized effort to introduce criminal justice students to a juvenile justice reform orientation.

For more information on the Juvenile Justice Reform Project, contact: Dr. Randy Nelson, nelson@cookman.edu or 850-567-0536.

For media inquiries, contact: Ursula James, jamesu@cookman.edu or 386-481-2975.

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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit www.cookman.edu.