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John Jay Hosts “Communities & Justice” Symposium

First-of-its-Kind Criminal Justice Summit Featured Remarks from Mayor Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Kelly, Law Enforcement Officials, Academics, and Community Advocates

July 29, 2010, New York, NY - John Jay College of Criminal Justice, along with the Office of the Manhattan District Attorney and the Office of Manhattan Borough President, co-hosted “Communities & Justice: Partnerships & Challenges for the 21st Century,” a two-day criminal justice symposium that took place on July 28–29.

This conference marked the first time that a broad coalition of elected and law enforcement officials gathered with community experts in New York City to collectively address national trends in prosecution, crime prevention, and criminal justice strategies.

“John Jay College of Criminal Justice is proud to be part of such a unique collaboration of community and law enforcement practitioners with academicians,” said John Jay President Jeremy Travis. “Through an open exchange of our diverse ideas, we can build on each others’ strengths and expertise and develop new approaches for addressing some of our nation’s most complex criminal justice issues.”

“There is no greater mission for law enforcement and government than keeping our residents safe,” said District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance. “Although crime is at an historical low both locally and nationally, we must keep New York City as a model for effective crime prevention. This symposium is the realization of a goal many of us have shared for more than a year – to bring together great minds in many disciplines to bring forth the best ideas for keeping our streets safe and our justice system fair.”

“The Communities & Justice summit is a groundbreaking conference, and an opportunity for law enforcement, academia, government and community advocates to exchange ideas and present solutions to some of this city’s most challenging issues confronting communities at risk,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer. “I applaud District Attorney Vance and John Jay President Travis for their innovative leadership in organizing this conference. The summit is the latest effort from a DA’s office which has demonstrated its visionary and forward-looking approach to law enforcement, and I am proud to lend my support as Borough President.”

The conference was anchored by remarks from featured speakers Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, and Newark Police Director Garry F. McCarthy. The program included panels on the topics of New Perspectives on Prosecution, Hot Button Issues Affecting Communities and Law Enforcement, and Communities at Risk. Experts in the field of law enforcement and criminal justice served as panelists, including District Attorneys from Massachusetts, Oregon, Texas, Wisconsin, and various counties in New York State; retired Chief Justice Judith Kaye; former New York City Department of Correction and Department of Probation Commissioner Martin Horn; and George McDonald, Founder and President of The Doe Fund, Inc. To see a complete list of speakers, go to www.manhattanda.org/conference.

“With cities and states from coast to coast facing a third consecutive year of shrinking revenues, police departments, prosecutors, and courts are all being asked to do more with less,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “How we rise to that challenge is critical to the people that we serve and what we do to keep our streets safe will help create the sense of confidence crucial to making full economic recovery a reality.”

“Our police officers have made New York City a model for the nation by driving crime down 36 percent since 2002 despite a tough economy, fewer resources, and the demand of counterterrorism,” said Police Commissioner Kelly. “We look forward to comparing the proactive strategies they have employed to make this possible with the best ideas from across the country at this unique conference.”

The “Communities & Justice” symposium also features 11 breakout sessions on a range of topics that allowed for focused, specialized discussion and brainstorming on topics including but not limited to Prisoner Re-entry, Conviction Integrity, Law Enforcement and Community Relations, Crime Prevention Strategies, Hate Crimes, and Youth and Gang Crimes.

About John Jay College of Criminal Justice: An international leader in educating for justice, John Jay College of Criminal Justice of The City University of New York offers a rich liberal arts and professional studies curriculum to upwards of 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nations. In teaching, scholarship and research, the College approaches justice as an applied art and science in service to society and as an ongoing conversation about fundamental human desires for fairness, equality and the rule of law. For more information, visit www.jjay.cuny.edu.