Learning to Understand Diverse Populations, Wurzweiler Students Visit NJ Penitentiary

On July 9 a group of students from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work went to Northern State Prison in Newark, New Jersey—not because they committed any crime, but as part of their training to offer social services to diverse populations in need.

134963659“When I first began bringing students to Northern State Prison, it immediately became apparent that it was a powerful experience and more trips were added,” said Dr. Jill Becker-Feigeles, an adjunct assistant professor at Wurzweiler, who has accompanied students on more than 20 such trips since 2003. “The trip brings together so many facets of the students’ social work education: the ways incarceration impacts development at various stages of an individual’s life, issues with policy implications, diversity and ethics. Most importantly, the trip puts a human face on a population sorely in need of services and largely unrecognized, and has become the highlight of the students’ first year at Wurzeiler.”

At the prison—a maximum-security facility that houses an adult population of male offenders for mostly violent crimes—the group first heard from Wanda Carrero, the prison’s educational coordinator, who provided a brief orientation about what to expect. Read the rest of this entry…

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