EUREKA- A professor at Eureka College is giving his students a taste of life on the other side of the law.
Bill Lally teaches criminal justice, and as a former police officer, he knows just how to give his students some hands-on experience.
"A lot of students said, well this would be easy to do, you know, they would just sit home and play X-Box all day. I said, well, I think it would be a lot more restrictive than you think," Lally said.
He's challenging his students with an assignment to spend one weekend under house arrest. Part of the deal is that he can take a police officer on some surprise visits to make sure they're following the rules.
Saturday he checked on Shelby Beck, who wasn't allowed to venture more than 100 feet from her dorm or drink any alcohol. Lally checked her ankle bracelet and the police officer did a breath test.
Lally said it's a good experience because a lot of his students want to go into this field after graduation.
"They're going to be doing this for a living, they're going to be working with individuals like this, and so you know, it would be a good learning experience to see what these people are going to have to go through," he said.
So they're going through it themselves. Beck said she had to do a lot of preparations just to get through one weekend.
"I just had to make sure I had food and stuff and make sure, if I had any homework I needed to do at the library I had that done because I can't go anywhere," Beck said.
Two students from the class take turns carrying out their sentences each weekend. Lally checked on William Hansen after leaving Beck and made sure the GPS tracking device inside his ankle bracelet was still working. Then he strapped it back on and told Hansen to keep up the good work.
Hansen said he's glad this experiment is just for a few days.
"For the people who have done it in the past weekends, you know, how would you feel if you'd done it for six months? And everybody's like there's no way I would do that," Hansen said.
After he gets the ankle bracelets back in class Monday morning, Lally can load the GPS information onto his computer. He can see where the GPS has been all weekend.
At the end of the semester each student has to write a paper reflecting on their house arrest experience. If they broke any of the rules, Lally said that impacts their grade.
This is the first semester he's tried out this assignment, and says it's going so well he plans to make it a permanent part of the course.
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