- Associated Press - Saturday, September 26, 2015

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan has started a pilot program to teach students about the criminal justice system and process.

The first class will be held Tuesday for 18 seventh-graders at the Gerald R. Ford Academic Center, The Grand Rapids Press reported (https://bit.ly/1G95zPw ).

Each month, a different presenter will speak to students who will learn how cases go from investigations to arrests and through the trial and appeals process.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office took the program to the Grand Rapids public school and hopes it can be expanded to other schools and districts.

“We designed this program to help our young students understand the American criminal justice system and process,” U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles told the newspaper.



“We did so for three reasons. First, to provide an important piece of civics education. Second, to remove the mystery about how criminal cases are really handled and replace media and Hollywood images with reality. Third, this program also gives students an opportunity to learn about various career opportunities in the criminal justice system as well as the education and other requirements to land those jobs.”

Speakers will include police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, parole officers and probation officers.

“We value opportunities to introduce students to career options, and a law program at Ford is especially fitting given the school’s namesake,” school Supt. Teresa Weatherall Neal said.

Gerald R. Ford grew up in Grand Rapids and graduated from Yale University with a degree in law. He succeeded Richard Nixon as the nation’s 38th president, serving the office from 1974-1977.

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Information from: The Grand Rapids Press, https://www.mlive.com/grand-rapids

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