14:22 PM

Houston Public Media Profiles UHD's First-in-the-Nation Collaboration with Harris County Sheriff's Office

In a story that aired Saturday, Houston Public Media took Houstonians inside the Harris County Jail to see firsthand the innovative collaboration between a group of enterprising criminal justice students and the inmates they are helping to rehabilitate.

In the first jail program of its kind in the nation, students in Assistant Professor Judith Harris' senior seminar course work closely with licensed social work professionals and counselors in the jail to enact a rehabilitation program for inmates as soon as they enter the criminal justice system.

The students become vital advocates for the inmates throughout their tenure at the jail. Rather than sitting in court and observing the criminal justice system from the sidelines, these students are assigned clients and regularly appeal to Harris County judges on their clients' behalf, working in conjunction with court-appointed attorneys.

"Students' key mission in this program is to get their clients moving in a positive direction," said Harris, "but it is astounding to watch the students' monumental movement as they generously give to and inspire their clients. It's impossible to participate in this program and not change. This is what life is all about - connecting to your career and life-purpose and tapping into your innate skills and passions."

View the full story in UHD Magazine.