Law & Justice Academy: Reverse Shadow Day

Jessica Gonzalez, Staff Writer

On September 21, 2017 the Law and Justice Academy students had the opportunity to meet professionals and even highly trained dogs, from the law field. Over 20 plus volunteers participated in this event, and it was all organized by Stacey Martin. They came from far and near. Making reverse shadow day one of the most exciting and eye opening experiences the academy has to offer.

Students went to five different types of seminars throughout the day. The first one was a discussion with Defense Attorneys. They taught students about their rights they have living in the United States and what to do, and what not to do when approached by a police officer. Both Mr.Anderson and Ms.Hernandez shared their journeys in becoming a defense attorney, why they became one, and overall how the job works. Even offering some students an internship working at the same office they do.

The next lesson was about distracted and drunk driving. Students were tested on their knowledge about the rules of the road and taught how one distraction can end in a very terrible manner. Highway patrol officers even shared their most bizarre stories, which included a women taking pictures of a cat while driving, and a person literally falling asleep at a streetlight. However listening to stories about drunk driving is one thing, but actually experiencing it is another. Students were able to recreate the sensation by putting on goggles that make your vision impaired. They had to maneuver a bike through an obstacle course while being chased by a real life police motorcycle. Some students did very well, others bumped into walls and cones.

Shortly after students proceeded to a CPR hands on course. There they learned how to assess a situation and how to do compressions on a person who is nonresponding.They also  learned how to stabilize a person who just had a back or neck injury. Which are both very important skills to know, and may even save a person’s life one day.

The second to last section involved San Quentin guards and their dogs.  The guards talked about the malicious and ludicrous things that occur in a prison.  They showed the students at Pinole Valley all of the weapons that the prisoners created with the things they find inside, but the most complex part for the inmates is finding a place to hide their weapons.  The most surprising thing is how easily the dogs can find drugs or cellphones which is very useful when searching cells.

Finally the day ended with students solving a crime scene.  We worked together and found out a girl who committed suicide due to people bullying her over some exposing photographs, which is something that does happen and needs to stop.  Students also go the opportunity to talk with prosecutors and discover what their job consists of.  Overall Reverse Job Shadow Day was very successful and exciting.