Florrie: UNSW Inside the Criminal Minds (January 2021)

The UNSW virtual program was such an exciting and eye-opening experience. We thoroughly explored the criminal mind from many different aspects. We learned about the motivations of behind criminals. Everyone was hooked during these lectures; they were so interesting! We learned about famous killers like Jeffrey Dahmer from the perspective of professionals who have treated people like that before. We also learned about the criminal justice system with talks from detectives, criminal justice lawyers and pathologists. Hearing lawyers talk about how they defend criminals and listening to a detective discuss one of his famous cases was awesome. We could also ask them heaps of questions anonymously, which was great because it encouraged people to ask way more exciting questions.

We were given the opportunity to call a group of inmates in a correctional facility and learn about their prison system experiences. They educated us about what is the most important and helpful in rehabilitating prisoners. Learning about their experiences in different prisons was fascinating and highlighted how negative the current system is. For me, meeting the men allowed me to grow and gain much more empathy for them. The media paints all prisoners as intimidating, aggressive and unremorseful. However, talking with them showed me that they are just normal men with families who have made mistakes and wish to get back on the right track in life. This was the best takeaway from the course because I have gained a new insight into offenders. This experience will enable me to work from a more empathetic and rehabilitation focused position for the rest of my career. The call to the correctional centre allowed us to understand how to move forward best to aid offenders in the future as we move into careers in psychology, criminology, and law.

The course followed Youtube Live lectures with another lecturer on the chat ready to answer all questions without interrupting the lecture’s flow. It allowed online students to stay connected to the course and made it interactive and engaging. This allowed us to build a super friendly community with everyone. By the end of the week, it felt like we were in a class with friends rather than individuals watching a lecture. The lecturers were understanding of time-zone difficulties and were super onto it with technical problems.

I would absolutely recommend the UNSW course to others. It was so impressive; I think it is the only course that I wish had gone on longer. I even enjoyed the assignments, which says a lot. The course is set up so well, they really thought of every detail, even for online students. It is a fantastic opportunity to learn from a wide range of jobs and ask these professionals any questions you might have. If you want a career in criminal justice but are not sure what aspect you enjoy more, this course will give you an insight into every detail. Alternatively, suppose you already know what career you want. In that case, it will allow you to appreciate the people working around you in the system. I honestly wish I could retake this course each year.

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