For the first time ever, six students will cross the Christchurch Town Hall stage to receive a Master of Criminal Justice degree at the University of Canterbury (UC) Law School graduation ceremony, on Wednesday.
Among them is Danielle Moore, who will add her Master of Criminal Justice (MCJ) to her Bachelor of Criminal Justice (BCJ) and Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Sociology.
“I feel very excited and privileged to be among the first cohort of students graduating with an MCJ,” she says.
“The structure of the MCJ degree eased discussion of complex issues and the sharing of opinions in an open forum format, which meant we became a close-knit group within a short period of time. I have made lifelong friends in the MCJ and I look forward to seeing the paths we all forge in the justice sector.”
Considering Danielle was not initially interested in university until she heard about the Criminal Justice Degree, she has now found her passion and with the help of a postgraduate Accelerator Scholarship, awarded to the best and brightest UC students, she is now working towards a PhD.
During her MCJ research, Danielle found an area of criminal justice she’s most passionate about and wants to work in.
“My Master’s dissertation looked at the high rates of attrition in youth addiction treatment programmes; and I am privileged to have been awarded an Accelerator Scholarship to continue my postgraduate studies at UC,” she says.
“Broadly I will further examine intergenerational offending and ways to break the cycle. I’ve explored this topic from a number of perspectives during my criminal justice study, and discovered there is a myriad of complex interconnected factors and conditions found to influence offending. No-one is born to offend, and often offenders have been victimised at some point in their lives.”
Danielle’s long-term goal is to effect positive change in youth justice. She strongly encourages other students to grab opportunities to broaden their horizons.
“I would recommend visiting a justice facility if the opportunity arises as it is an eye-opening experience. These visits can answer a lot of questions about the justice system and raise even more. I’ve been to Rolleston Men’s Prison, Te Puna Wai ō Tuhinapo, and visited the Christchurch Women’s Prison twice.”
For now, Danielle is looking forward to celebrating with the friends she has made at UC.
“I am grateful for the like-minded friends I’ve made along the way. UC is a supportive environment that motivates you to find your passion, fosters growth and inspires you to reach your potential.”