Criminal Justice students study prison operations

On March 17, 2016, students from the CJ225-Corrections course traveled to Orient OH with their instructor, Professor Sean Lovell, to visit the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Corrections (ODRC) Reception Center, to observe and experience prison operations.  Lieutenant Matt Church and Chad Haren acted as tour guides for the visit. Lieutenant Church works in the Operations Branch and is a member of the Critical Incident Response team, and Chad Haren is the Director for the in-processing and out-processing branch along with the inmate classifications section. 

The ODRC Reception Center is one of three hubs for the administrative processing and classification of inmates, along with housing those inmates until they are ready for sending out to other permanent housing facilities in the State of Ohio. This is where most inmates will serve out their sentences.  

During the visit, the students received a short welcome briefing from the Warden, Rick Chuvalas. He provided them an overview of prison operations from his perspective as the leader of this institution.  At that point, the students were in the hands of Lieutenant Church and Chad Haren. The students were able to walk through the in-processing procedure each inmate will go through upon their arrival to the ODRC Reception Center. The facilities included the in-processing area, medical examination, inmate supply section, dining facility operations, and ended with one of the housing areas. 

The students were required to provide an essay on what they learned, what they liked the most and least of the tour, and other miscellaneous questions.  Some of the comments included, but not limited to:  “I have thought so much about whether this is really the area I want to work in, and it was great to actually see what it looks like”; “I learned a lot and it really confirmed what I want to do with my life…to be a prison Chaplain or a counselor”; and “Going on this tour and getting into the prison was the best part for me, because I enjoy seeing the future and learning how things work, especially when I could have the possibility of working inside a prison”. 


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