Beyond Bars: The Criminal Justice Process

Sign up for the latest LEAP Program, Beyond Bars, an in-depth look at the Criminal Justice System.

Program Overview: This exciting four-week program educates citizens in the major steps of the criminal justice process: arrest, prosecution, sentencing, prison or alternatives, and parole and reentry.  The program relies on law-enforcement professionals, site visits, and interactive exercises. 

Week One (October 4, 6-8:30pm): A tour of the new Huntsville Police Department, led by Corporal David Warner.  Perform interactive traffic stops, try on the "drunk goggles," learn the chain of custody of evidence, and learn about the numerous law-enforcement agencies in Walker County.

Week Two (October 11, 6:00-8:30): Judge (and former defense attorney) Tracy Sorensen will provide a tour of the courthouse, discuss the role of plea bargaining, prosecution and defense preparations for trial, and the different options for sentencing.  In addition, we will go through trial procedures for both County-Court at Law and District Courts.  Jennifer Jenkins, Senior Felony Prosecutor, will be on hand as well to provide a prosecution perspective.

Week Three (October 18, 10am-12:30pm): Former Director of TDCJ Wayne Scott will accompany participants on a tour of the Walls Unit.  We will see the execution chamber, the mattress factory, the Chapel, and the scene of Fred Carrasco's attempted escape.

Week Four (October 25, 6:00pm--8:30pm): Hear from experts on Pardons and Paroles, non-profit leaders, and others who work to prevent crime and promote re-entry to society.

This program costs $45 for all four weeks, and it includes dinner for the three evening programs.  To sign up for it, please submit your application here.