Monday, September 28, 2015

Ashland County Common Pleas Court Judge Visits CJ 362 (Criminal Law) Students

This post is one of several which cover professional speakers the Criminal Justice Program brings into the classroom, allowing students to learn from and connect with experts who currently work in a variety of areas in the criminal justice field. Check out our recap post for a list of speakers the CJ Program hosted during the fall 2015 semester.

On September 24, 2015, Ashland County Common Pleas Court Judge Ronald P. Forsthoefel visited students in CJ 362, Criminal Law. During the week of the Judge's visit, the students had been studying the topic of punishment, including: imprisonment, alternative sentences to prison, fines and forfeiture. The class was also examining the topic of career criminals and the repeat offender.  

Judge Forsthoefel discussed his first-hand experience in the above areas, including his extensive use of pre-sentence investigation reports and statutory sentencing guidelines in reaching a determination about the appropriate sentence to impose upon an offender. The Judge spoke to the students about his attempts to deter and rehabilitate offenders by using community based options, especially professional  treatment for drug addicts, rather than prison. The Judge told the class about his frustration when his attempts to rehabilitate some criminals fail and they re-offend, despite having been afforded multiple opportunities to reform without a commitment to prison. When probationers re-offend or otherwise fail on probation, the Judge explained he must then focus fully on the safety of the community and those felons are sent to prison. 
Judge Forsthoefel also told students about his professional path to becoming a Judge, including: serving as an assistant prosecuting attorney, engaging in the private practice of law and serving as a Magistrate before being elected Judge. 
Students appreciated hearing the topics in their textbook brought to life through Judge Forsthoefel's remarks! 

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