MMC Students Observe the Criminal Court System

October 19, 2018
  • Students on "the bench" in the Hon. Melissa C. Jackson’s trial part in NYS Supreme Court
On October 18, MMC’s PS 107 Introduction to Criminal Justice class got an inside look at the city’s criminal court system in action.

Class began at 7:30pm as the students and instructor Robin Nackman, Esq., Executive Director of Career Services, entered 100 Centre Street, the location of the Manhattan DA’s Office, Central Booking, the Tombs, NYC Criminal Courts, and NYS Supreme Courts, Criminal Term.

Students had the opportunity to observe about 40 minutes of Arraignments in the Felony Arraignments Part and witnessed several defendants being arraigned (formally charged) with crimes that ranged from Assault in the 2nd Degree to Grand Larceny in the 3rd Degree. They listened as Assistant DAs made bail recommendations to keep certain defendants in custody, while others could be released on their own recognizance (ROR’d), and Defense Counsel offered reasons why low or no bail should be set in each of the cases.

When that judge recessed, the group went across the hall to observe Misdemeanor Arraignments. There, they observed defendants charged with Violating Orders of Protection, Possession of a Deadly Weapon, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. The Judge in that part chatted with the students as she recessed her court for a dinner break, and her Court Clerk then offered to give them a private tour of the Trial Part courtroom (see photo above). Offering lively and colorful insights and observations about some of the defendants’ cases that were heard in that trial part earlier that day, the Clerk showed the students the holding cell behind the courtroom and even gave the group the opportunity to ascend the judge’s bench for the picture.

It was a fantastic firsthand immersion into the criminal court system and a prime example of the power of MMC’s CityEdge signature courses to enable students to experience the connection between their classroom studies and the myriad professional opportunities available in New York City.