14:19 PM

HCSO Hosts 'Partner Appreciation' Event for Criminal Justice Students

cj studentsCriminal justice students in UHD assistant professor Judith Harris' senior seminar course received high praise Friday from Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia and his team of reentry services staff.

Garcia honored the UHD undergraduates with certificates of appreciation, enclosed in a leather binder embossed with the Harris County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) seal, and honorary lapel pins for their novel work in the Harris County Jail helping to rehabilitate inmates prior to their reentry to the community.

Sheriff Garcia, Harris and Jennifer Herring, social worker and director of HCSO reentry services, called each student to the front of the assembly to recognize their individual contributions to the UHD/HCSO Reentry Services program, the first of its kind in a jail in the nation. The reentry services team also recognized key program volunteers from a variety of local non-profit organizations.

Attendees viewed a documentary video - containing numerous interviews with the Sheriff, Harris County residents, corrections officers and social workers - compiled by a team of Harris' students, including Raymond Clark, Ubaldo Fonseca Jr., Lisa Fontenot and Laura Martinez. HCSO plans to use this video during orientation and training sessions for future program participants and community members.

At the conclusion of the event, Garcia informed the students that HCSO currently is hiring and noted that each student in attendance, "represents the caliber, heart and character of the Harris County Sheriff's Office."

"I am so proud of my senior seminar students who daily help to improve the lives of Harris County Jail inmates," said Harris. "It is a joy to watch them use their classroom learning in a hands-on capacity, working alongside HCSO social workers, to get their clients back on their feet. I commend them for their hard work, empathy and passion for giving back."