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Intro to Criminal Justice: Know Your Rights!

March 18 - May 3, 2024


Grades 11 - 12



Skills Learned:

- Identify and Explain a Source’s Claim(s), Evidence, and Reasoning.

- Describe a Source’s Perspective, Purpose, Context, and Audience

- Identify and Explain the Context of a Specific Event, Development, or Process.

- Identify and Explain Patterns, Connections, or other Relationships (Causation, Changes, Continuities, Comparison).


Classtimes will be coordinated between the Lead Teacher and Teacher Fellow

Session Length:

March 18 - May 3, 2024

Number of Sessions:

2 of 2

This course will be part of an ongoing research study by AIR, in collaboration with CWW, the CERES Institute for Children & Youth at Boston University, and the Rennie Center. The study aims to understand teacher and student experiences in the CWW initiative, including factors influencing effective implementation, and outcomes.


Course Program:

This course is a survey of the American legal system and structures. Through this class, the hope is that students will understand the American legal system, and develop curiosity about how to make our system better. In addition, students will develop stronger critical thinking skills, become more effective writers and public speakers, and learn to read challenging texts.

This unit in particular focuses on Criminal Justice and individual rights as described in the 4th and 5th Amendment. The primary goal is to develop a general understanding of the criminal justice system’s response to crime in society. This course will serve as an overview or survey of the structure of the criminal justice system. It will introduce students to the components of the criminal justice system as it pertains to the police, courts, and their rights.

Nakia Navarro.webp


Vanessa St. Leger

As a child of immigrant parents and native of the city of Boston, Ms. St. Leger has a distinct interest in serving her community and regularly seeks opportunities to assist or educate the underrepresented. She is a 2017 Teach for America MA Corps member and this is her 7th year teaching in her hometown of Dorchester, MA at the Henderson Inclusion School as a Special Education & History Teacher. She credits her two school age children for her growing passion for education equity. Ms. St. Leger is also an experienced attorney who part-time manages a boutique law firm focusing in the areas of family, immigration, and public interest law. Prior to starting her own firm, Ms. St. Leger worked for a civil litigation firm. In this position, she took the opportunity to apply what she learned through her diverse educational and professional opportunities to assist a wide-range of clientele. Ms. St . Leger managed her own caseload and represented clients at all levels of administrative and court proceedings. As a result of this role, she also has developed invaluable communication skills, the competence to understand and deal with cultural differences, and a keen ability to assess individual client needs. Prior to law school, Ms. St. Leger obtained a paralegal certification and worked as a journalist for several media outlets in Washington DC. She holds a Masters Degree in Special Education from Boston University, a juris doctorate from Northeastern University School of Law in MA and obtained her Bachelor's degree from Howard University in Washington DC. She is an avid volunteer and a member of many community organizations and boards.

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