Criminal Justice students head to Alcatraz East

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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If you say you’re heading to Alcatraz, one might think a trip to the West Coast is involved. But that wasn’t the case last week for members of the Randolph-Henry High School Criminal Justice Club, who paid a visit to Alcatraz East as part of a field trip. 

So first off, what is Alcatraz East, you ask? It’s a museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Originally people knew it under a different name and location, as it started as the National Museum of Crime and Punishment in Washington, D.C. But in 2016, the museum was relocated to Pigeon Forge. The goal of the two-story, 24,000 square foot museum is to give people a look at the history of crime in America, in a building designed after the infamous Alcatraz island prison in San Francisco, hence the name.

Over the course of this year, the Criminal Justice Club held several stew and bake sale fundraisers in order to raise money for the trip. And over the course of April 7 and 8, the group got to take their trip and learn more about true crime cases. Parts of the museum detail how specific crimes were committed, how cases were solved and how jury members reached decisions about specific sentences. 

As a result, club members were able to participate in various interactive exhibits pertaining to police training, crime scene investigation, and correctional methods. 


In addition to visiting the museum, club members took a trip to ‘The Island’, a nearby family fun center. The students were able to take in views of the city on the Smoky Mountain Wheel as well as virtually travel to different parts of America on an interactive theater ride, the Sky Fly:Soar America. For some added fun, the students chose to participate in a Mirror Maze to test out their navigational skills. 

And they were en route back home when a certain event took place in the sky last week. Club members stopped off at a local Buc-ee’s to try out their eclipse glasses provided by Charlotte County Public Schools and see the solar eclipse. Once they returned, club members thanked the community for helping them raise the money to take the trip.