WEST PALM BEACH — The Palm Beach County Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) has announced that it will host its 26th annual Citizen’s Justice Academy next month.

The academy, which is free, is open to residents living in Palm Beach County who wish to learn more about the criminal justice system. The 11-week program begins on Monday, Jan. 12, and runs 11 consecutive Mondays with the exception of several federal holidays.  It ends on April 13. The evening programs run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

In the project, the CJC is boosting its collaboration with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Organizers say Sheriff Ric Bradshaw and his staff are committed to educating citizens and providing them with knowledge to be informed individuals. An enhanced curriculum includes learning about cybercrime and homeland security, and going inside a police car. There will be demonstrations and opportunities to see high-tech equipment.

Participants can expect to learn about local law enforcement including the Sheriff’s Special Operations and will tour the Main Detention Center, the Palm Beach County Courthouse, and the Medical Examiner’s Office. Most of the program consists of classroom-style lectures with interactive presentations, and there is always plenty of time for questions and answers. Lectures will be provided by local, state, and federal law enforcement professionals.

The first month of classes will be held in the community room at the West Palm Beach Police Department, 600 Banyan Street in West Palm Beach. Classes will be held at different locations but will remain in the greater West Palm Beach area.

Due to space limitations, the class is limited to the first 50 enrollees. For anyone curious about the criminal justice system, this program offers a valuable opportunity to ask questions and learn from experts.

The program is sponsored by the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners as a service to residents.

Visit the CJC website, www.pbcgov.org/criminaljustice/academy/, to register.  Registration closes at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 8. Please call 561-355-4943 for information regarding registration or classes.