Ferrum News

Ferrum Students Win Awards for Papers on Criminal Justice.


Ferrum Students Win Awards for Papers on Criminal Justice

Papers examined parents’ responsibility for juvenile crime, and a re-examination of the value of rehabilitation in prison.

Ferrum, Va. (April 4, 2011) – Two Ferrum College students recently won awards in the National Student Paper Competition held by the American Criminal Justice Association. (ACJA)Kara

“I am extremely proud of both of these students and their accomplishments,” said William N. Osborne Jr., associate professor and program coordinator of the Ferrum College Criminal Justice program.

In the Lower division (for freshmen and sophomores) Criminal Justice major Kara Pegram of Martinsville won first place for her paper entitled, “Retying the Apron Strings:  When the State Makes Parents Culpable for Juvenile Crime.”  The paper examined the responsibility of parents for juvenile offenders.  Pegram cited statistics that show the crime rate for children of single mothers is 40 percent higher than those who were raised in traditional two-parent households.

“The numbers show it is so important for a father figure to be present in the household, if not the actual father himself,” said Pegram.  She also raised questions about laws that place parents in prison for the crimes of their children, “because that disrupts the child’s upbringing, even more.”

Pegram received a certificate and $150 for her award.  Her paper will be published in the ACJA-LAE National Journal in December.

ShavonyaIn the Upper division, senior Shavonya Smith of Chatham, also a Criminal Justice major, won third place for her paper, “Should We Return to the Rehabilitation Model?”  Smith’s paper examined the overcrowded prison population and suggested that more inmates could successfully return to society if given proper rehabilitation while behind bars.  “I wrote the paper for senior seminar and Professor Osborne thought I should submit it to the competition,” said Smith.  “I’m glad I did.”

Smith also received a certificate and $50 for her entry.  She is graduating in May and plans to seek a career in law enforcement.