Early College class looks inside county legal system – Neuse News
Lenoir County Early College High School students researched how the legal system works in Lenoir County during a recent tour of the Lenoir County Courthouse.
Sophomores from Dr. Travis Towne’s civic literacy class took the field trip on Monday and heard from Maj. Ryan Dawson of the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office, toured the criminal upper courtrooms and Civil Superior and visited the old prison above the audience hall.
Dawson spoke to the students about a variety of county government topics and how the sheriff’s office fits in with other branches of government. They learned, for example, that in North Carolina, a sheriff’s office is not a sheriff’s department because the sheriff is an elected official and the office was created by the North Carolina Constitution in 1776. .
Speaking of the need for more deputies and corrections officers, Dawson drew attention to the balance the sheriff and county commissioners must strike between paying salaries high enough to help with recruitment and the amount of local taxes that residents are willing to pay.
“It was probably the most eye-opening discussion the students had, as they were able to make connections to the real world about how government resources are funded,” Towne said. “Just saying you want more money for something like raises isn’t always easy to implement.”
Touring the old jail and getting a glimpse of what it might have been like to be confined for up to 23 hours a day awaiting a trial date “instilled in students the importance of knowing the consequences of actions and a very real visual of what can happen when laws are broken,” their teacher said.
“The students, teachers, and staff of Early College High School would like to publicly thank Maj. Ryan Dawson and the Sheriff’s Office for helping to organize this amazing opportunity for students to tour the Lenoir County Courthouse” , said Towne.