Adam, Karin and Kilian report from the study week in Dayton, Ohio.
Today’s special topic was immigration. We were able to talk about how the people of Switzerland and the U.S view the idea of Immigrants and of Refugees. After an equally interesting and entertaining presentation, the bunch of Swiss and US students split up in two groups for the afternoon activity. One group went to the Childcare Centre of Montgomery County. The other 10 students were honoured by having the possibility to go to court and meet a judge and a prosecutor at the juvenile court and detention centre of Greene County.
After having mistaken twice the address, we finally made it to the Childcare Centre of Montgomery County where we were welcomed by social workers, a lawyer, the director of Care House and a psychologist who was – in her own words – born to work there. It was an interesting sharing about experience and explanations about our work in the child protection field. We were very active and questioning and had a serious discussion for over 2 hours. For sure everyone learned a big deal and after saying goodbye to our hosts we made the way back this time without detour.
The Group who decided to have a look at what’s going on in the trials, first headed to the Juvenile Court of Greene County. We met Judge Adolfo Tornichio, he borrowed us a lot of time and showed us the facility. We were able to have a look into the courtroom and even sat on the jury’s seats. The students and the judge had a nice talk about the different forms of trials and sentences. After that we went to the Greene County Court (adults). The building was stunning, looked like a church, though. On the inside we were able to witness a trial on a man who lived in a house which was not his own. The judge sent him to a rehab-program instead of 1,5 years of prison. After that we met the Chief Prosecutor Stephen Haller and honourable Judge Stephen Wolaver and had the chance to ask them many questions.
Kilian took notice that there will be a masterclass session in the evening with the topic community organizing. Due to the circumstances that this topic was the core of his bachelor’s thesis, Mr. Doug Keowe gave him the opportunity to participate. This just shows how welcome and friendly the Swiss were treated by the US. Another example of this would be the dinner hosted by alumni and Barbara Kethrow, who provided everyone with a Mexican menu. Delicious!