the weekly newsletter from Dr Ruth Weeks, Headmistress
Year 13 experience criminal justice
29 January 2016
On Wednesday 20 January, the Year 13 Sociology group took a trip to the Magistrates Court in Birmingham. Whilst we were there, we went into several different court rooms in order to experience the criminal justice system at first hand for our A2 course topic, Crime and Deviance.
The cases we watched were predominantly young men with the exception of one woman. The crimes committed were things such as theft, anti-social behaviour and illegal driving, with the majority of the defendants being from an ethnic minority group. It was interesting to see how most of the defendants pleaded not guilty in their case, and so were given a date in the near future to return back to the Magistrates or the Crown Court. On the other hand, the few who had pleaded guilty were given community service with no further sentence, providing they do not break any rules.
From experiencing this, we were able to relate the sociological knowledge we had learnt in lessons to the situations right in front of us, which really helped us to dig deeper into potential explanations and meanings for crime and deviance. For example we discussed how the gender, age and social class of the defendants could contribute towards the potential reasons for them committing the crimes.
Overall, the trip to the Magistrates Court was an unforgettable and helpful experience and we found it very exciting to experience a court case and to compare what it’s really like to how we imagined it.
On behalf of all the Year 13 sociologists, we’d like to thank Miss Graham for taking us during her Wednesday afternoon and we’d recommend it to anybody else in the future!
Becky Evans, Year 13