Rowan, JJC Offer Course for College Students and Young OffendersAugust 24, 1999
Glassboro-Rowan University Law/Justice students and youth incarcerated under the Juvenile Justice
System (JJC) at the Camden Community Service Center/Transition Program, Camden, and the Campus
Program, at the Lakeland Complex in Blackwood will attend a Special Topics Course on Restorative Justice
during the fall semester (Wednesdays, all students; Fridays, Rowan students only) at Rowan University.
This first-time offering in New Jersey will bring together 12 Rowan students and 12 youth from the
facilities to study a topic that has meaning for them all.
The goals of the course, which will be taught by Dr. Michael Vigorita, include making the Rowan students
more aware of what is happening in the community, enabling them to meet youth who have been convicted of
non-violent crimes and interact in ways that will break down the <+>us/them<+> mentality and teaching them more
about juvenile offender programs. Some Rowan students plan to enter law enforcement or work with youth.
For the juvenile offenders, the goals include learning more about college and the other possibilities for their
lives, increasing self-esteem, learning to accept other cultures and working on problem-solving skills. The JJC
provides educational opportunities for all students in its custody, although this is the first formal program
held collaboratively with a university. Vigorita's wife, Lisa, who is a detention specialist with the JJC,
suggested the course, which is being implemented through the JJC's Restorative Justice Program.
Teachers and a caseworker will attend the course with the juvenile offenders. Rowan students will receive
three credits for the class. The juvenile offenders who have not earned a high school diploma or GED will
receive credit towards those.
(NOTE: The Camden Community Service Center is a residential transition program that functions as a
<+>step-down<+> to a less restrictive setting for youths being paroled or terminating their commitment, with a
focus on community re-entry. The Campus Program is a special needs therapeutic program that serves
substance abusers who are on probation or incarcerated. Both programs have a strong emphasis on