CCC student aims for change in criminal justice system


Coconino Community College student Robin Hebert plans to work in the criminal justice field.


Flagstaff, Ariz. -- Robin Hebert had gone to college previously, but she fell into the world of addiction and got in trouble with the law.


Now, she has her life on track, has a career, and is back in school at Coconino Community College studying Sociology. Her ultimate goal is a degree in the field of criminal justice.


“Given my life experience, it feels like something I want to do,” Hebert said.


She currently works in the criminal justice field as the assistant coordinator for the Coconino County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) and she wants to be helpful to others who have had similar experiences. The CJCC coordinates programs for the county and city that aim to keep offenders from reoffending and out of the criminal justice system.


Her own experiences in the criminal justice system showed her first-hand the overrepresentation of minorities and the poor in that system, a social injustice she wants to try to impact.


“There has got to be a solution,” Hebert said. “I want to be a part of that solution.”


She added that she wants a “real” education to be able to help. She believes that a way exists to tackle that social challenge in the criminal justice system, and she wants to fully understand the scope and nature of that problem before she goes deeper into the field.


“Everybody deserves an equal opportunity,” Hebert said.


She currently works at her job with the CJCC full time and she attends CCC full time. Her employer also helps her cover the expenses of getting her education.


“I feel like I was graced, and I want the degree to stay (where I work),” Hebert said. “I have a lot of passion for what I do, and I want to do it better.”


In addition to a full load of work and school, Hebert also is a peer mentor at Juniper House, a re-entry home for women coming out of the Exodus, in-custody drug and alcohol treatment program at the county jail.


“Living at the Juniper House and being able to work with women who are new in sobriety and trying to restart their lives is a very rewarding experience,” Hebert said.


She added that she is hopeful her journey of returning to school inspires them to consider going back to school themselves.


“It is a statistic that addicts who better their education also better their odds of long-term sobriety,” Hebert said. “I am at school because I want to allow my personal experience to be a platform for helping others find new ways of living, and getting an education is a solid path to making this a reality for me.”


Hebert also said that being a student has improved her prospects for what possibilities she envisions for her own future.


“And I hope that all women find this as well,” she said.


As a CCC2NAU student, Hebert’s journey will eventually take her away to NAU to complete her studies.


“I do plan to transfer to NAU, but I will miss the small class sizes and the personal attention I am receiving at CCC,” Hebert said.



Monday, 22nd January 2018

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  • Monday, 22nd January 2018