Peru State College
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News Release
 
04/04/13

14 criminal justice, psychology students and three faculty "doing time…for the littlest victims of crime" TONIGHT

"Overnight Shakedown" to benefit Lincoln's Child Advocacy Center

 

(Peru, Neb.) Fourteen Peru State criminal justice and psychology majors, along with three faculty members, are being booked into the new Lancaster County Jail in Lincoln TONIGHT as part of the Lancaster County Jail’s “Overnight Shakedown” program to benefit the Child Advocacy Center.

For their $30 donation, participants will experience what going to jail is like first-hand. They will be finger printed, have a mug shot taken, dress in jail scrubs, eat a jail meal and attend a 2-hour educational session before being locked into individual cells for the night. Proceeds from the event go to benefit the Child Advocacy Center and help raise awareness of child abuse.

Peru State students and faculty are set to arrive at the jail at 6 p.m. tonight, Thursday, April 4 and will be released at 7 a.m. tomorrow, Friday, April 5.

Peru State Criminal Justice Professor Dr. Kelly Asmussen will join students for the overnight stay, along with Criminal Justice Instructors Ronicka Schottel and Daniel Hayes.

Asmussen said, “Having this kind of exposure to the criminal justice system gives our students a unique perspective and a better understanding of the people they will work with in the future, giving them an advantage as they seek jobs in the criminal justice field. It’s an opportunity for them to understand due process rights for those being booked into a jail and what it might be like to lose those rights or have them diminished. 

“I applaud our students for having the courage to step up to the challenge I put before them. It will be an experience they will remember for a lifetime that will, hopefully, help them more fully understand the stresses and pressures faced by future clients. No doubt it will also give them a new perspective on freedoms. Being stripped of their cell phones might be a huge shock!”

Asmussen said the “Overnight Shakedown” greatly compliments what Peru State’s criminal justice program is trying to accomplish with student engagement activities.

The Child Advocacy Center is a nonprofit organization that provides a safe, child-friendly location for conducting forensic interviews and medical evaluations for abused children in southeast Nebraska. Last year the Center served nearly 1,000 child victims of abuse. The professionals at the Child Advocacy Center work closely with law enforcement to reduce the trauma suffered by child victims and increase the successful prosecution of their abusers.

For more information, visit http://www.smvoices.org/ or contact Asmussen at kasmussen@peru.edu or 402-872-2426.