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College News

Recent Address to the Citizens Crime Commission
Pictured left to right, Richard Aborn, President of the Citizens Crime Commission, Richard A. Brown, Queens District Attorney, Charles J. Hynes, Brooklyn District Attorney and Jeremy Travis, President of John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Robert T. Johnson, Bronx District Attorney.

A College Transformed
“When it was founded more than 40 years ago, John Jay College embodied a simple yet powerful idea, namely that police officers would benefit – both as citizens and as law enforcement personnel – if they received a liberal arts education. Today, after decades of remarkable growth, John Jay has made good on that promise to provide high quality education for students who are animated by the challenges of crime, safety and justice,” President Jeremy Travis told the Citizens Crime Commission on December 11. Travis was one of the first speakers at the Commission since its new president, Richard Aborn, took the reigns of the organization, which has long provided a forum about crime for the business, civic and law enforcement communities in New York .

Travis used the opportunity to acknowledge the many alumni who have served at the highest levels of the city’s public safety agencies. He also used the occasion to announce a major transformation of the College that will “prepare the next generation of scholars, leaders and heroes.”  Part of the transformation is the elimination of the associate degree programs over the next four years. To accommodate students who do not meet the baccalaureate admissions standards, the College is partnering with a number of CUNY’s community colleges to develop joint degree programs. This change will allow the College to focus its upcoming recruitment efforts “on students who are ready to pursue a rigorous baccalaureate education.”  Travis also noted that John Jay will be expanding the range of majors that will be offered in such areas as English, economics and history. These majors will differ from those at other colleges in that they will be “offered at a college with a unique criminal justice mission. Our English major, for example, will offer a concentration in Law and Literature.” With the support of CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, more than 100 new full-time faculty will be hired Travis said.

Recognizing the obligation the College has in dealing with the “tough issues facing our society”, Travis also described a number of recent initiatives such as the Center on Crime Prevention and Control, the Prisoner Reentry Institute, the Center on Race, Crime and Justice and the Leadership Academy on Corporate Security as examples of how the College is making a significant commitment to advancing public safety. “Last year,” Travis noted, “we launched the Lewis and Jack Rudin Partnership, an initiative that for me captures the essence of the new John Jay,” where graduate students and faculty work on research topics identified by specific agencies. “In short, over the next four years, with the addition of these new faculty, John Jay College will become a more vibrant, challenging, student-centered institution, exploring issues of justice through a variety of disciplinary lenses. We will become a college without peer throughout the world.” For the complete transcript, go to http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/extra/CCC_speech.pdf


Crime and the Media
What do you know about crime trends, sex offenders and urban violence? Much of what the public knows about these and other criminal justice issues comes from the news media. But how well informed are the reporters that cover these stories? At the Second Annual Harry F. Guggenheim Symposium hosted by the College’s Center on the Media, Crime and Justice reporters from The New York Times, The Los Angles Times, The Miami Herald, National Public Radio, and The Houston Chronicle were among representatives from the country’s major news organizations who met with leading criminal justice academicians and practitioners to learn more about the latest upturn in crime in a growing number of cities and about the nature of sex offenders and public policy surrounding their offenses. According to President Jeremy Travis, “This annual symposium gives us an opportunity to advance a candid dialogue among journalists, academics and practitioners on how they individually and collectively contribute to the public’s understanding of crime in America and what steps we can all take to enhance the public’s perception.”  The symposium also included the presentation of the 2006 Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting Awards. Christina Jewett and Dorothy Korber of the Sacramento Bee won for their individual article, “Questions Persist Over Jail Health Care,” which examined the poor medical care for inmates in the country jails in Sacramento, CA. Rick Tulsky of the San Jose Mercury News won for his series, “Tainted Trials, Stolen Justice,” which found that during a five year period in Santa Clara County one of every three criminal jury trials of the 724 studied involved some form of misjudgment or misconduct by prosecutors, defense lawyers or the trial or appellate judges that adversely affected the accused. Richard Esposito, reporter and producer for ABC News and the recipient of numerous journalism awards, was the symposium’s keynote speaker. He cautioned his colleagues about the growing problem of press bias against the police who, he emphasized, are entitled to the same right to balance and fairness as other groups.


Keep On Learning
Whether you want to brush up on your criminal justice expertise or whether you are interested in personal development, there is only one Continuing Education program that can meet both your professional and personal needs. John Jay’s Office of Continuing Education is offering a new season of unique and exciting courses that cannot be found elsewhere.  Interested in crime scene investigation or becoming an Emergency Medical Technician? The highly successful Paralegal Certificate Program is once again being offered and to complement it, training as a Notary public is now available. Learn about security for the home, for the VIP, and for the organization. Sign up for courses in public speaking, swimming, languages, getting published, and other areas of personal enrichment. As always, alumni receive a ten percent discount. For a catalog, more information and to register go to "http://johnjay.augusoft.net/

Events

It’s never to early to plan ahead

Alumni Day

April 28, 2007
Saturday

Save the Date!


The 5th Annual Lou DeMartino Memorial Baseball Dinner

Friday, January 26, 2007       6:30 PM Cocktails    7:30 PM Dinner

Coach Dan Palumbo and the John Jay College Baseball Team cordially invite you to an evening honoring Mel Zitter of the Youth Service Organization and Robert Mulligan (BS ’94), Head Baseball Coach of Monsignor Farrell High School.

Tickets are $50 each of which $25 is a tax-deductible donation to the baseball team. RSVP to Coach Dan Palumbo at 212-237-8369. Tickets must be reserved in advance. Please make your check payable to John Jay College Baseball and mail to: Coach Dan Palumbo, John Jay College, 899 Tenth Avenue, Room 421T, New York, NY 10019

John Jay College
Auxiliary Gymnasium, 4th Floor
899 Tenth Avenue, NYC


Annual Malcolm King Breakfast

Friday, February 23, 2007                       9:30 AM – 11:30 AM

The African-American Studies Department is pleased to invite you to the Annual Malcolm King Breakfast.

RSVP to 212-237-8764.Tickets are $35 (payable to John Jay College, African-American Studies Department). It is preferred that responses be sent in advance to: Professor Kwando Kinshasa, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 445 West 59th Street, Room 3227, NY, NY 10019.

John Jay College
Gymnasium, 4th Floor
899 Tenth Ave., NYC


The John Jay Book & Author Series

Tuesday, February 27, 2007                    4:00 PM

The John Jay Book & Author Series is pleased to present Bomb Squad: A Year Inside the Nation’s Most Exclusive Police Unit by ABC News journalists, Richard Esposito and Ted Gerstein.

John Jay College
Theatre Lobby
899 Tenth Ave., NYC


“Off the Witness Stand: Using Psychology in the Practice of Justice”

Thursday through Saturday, March 1-3, 2007

One hundred years ago, Hugo Munsterberg of Harvard’s Psychology Laboratory challenged the legal system with a series of essays that questioned “Can witness memory be trusted?”, “Can liars be exposed?”, “Can confessions be untruthful?”, “Can crime be prevented?” Today, the growing number of DNA exonerations, where convictions were based on eye witness testimony, further demonstrates the validity of Munsterberg’s century old observations. This conference will bring together the country’s leading scientists, justice system practitioners and policy makers who will give presentations on: perception, witness memory and testimony, deception detection, confessions, forensic assessment, competency and treatment in forensic settings, expert testimony, jury decision making, courtroom procedures, crime prevention, and the influence of psychology research on the legal system. The conference is being sponsored by the College’s Center for Modern Forensic Practice. The early registration fee is $240 for attendees and $110 for students. After February 2, the registration fee is $275 for attendees and $140 for students.

For further information and to register, go to www.jjay.cuny.edu/mfp/offthewitnessstand/  or contact Professor Jennifer Dysart, Conference Coordinator at munsterberg@jjay.cuny.edu or 212-484-1160.

CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue, NYC


Alumni Spotlight

Orla McPartlin (MA ’98)
Sometimes something good can grow out of a violent event. In 1996 an Irish cop, Jerry McCabe, was murdered in a robbery perpetrated by the Irish Republican Army. In the wake of this tragedy, John Jay College and An Garda Síochána (Irish police service) developed the McCabe Fellowship, which offers scholarships to Irish officers in the College’s graduate program.  Orla McPartlin, who received her Master’s in Criminal Justice in 1998 was one of the first recipients.

Now an inspector with An Garda Síochána, McPartlin is in charge of the International Liaison Section, which is involved in coordination with the European Union as it relates to policing. In this capacity, she works closely with such agencies as Interpol and Europol. “My master’s from John Jay helped my career a great deal. It gave me a broad view of policing and the administration of justice in the United States . I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for the master’s. It was certainly an enjoyable year.”

Always wanting to be a police officer and bored in an office job, she saw a recruitment ad and applied to the Garda. At the time, only four percent of the service was female. Now it’s close to 20 percent. With 24 years in the police service, she still finds police work “an exciting and great job” because you get to see a wider and more in-depth view of society. Indeed, becoming a police officer in Ireland remains a highly sought career despite the country’s high employment rate. The Garda continually ranks high on surveys of resident satisfaction concerning government services.

Like many countries in Europe, the Emerald Isle is experiencing changes in its population. According to McPartlin, there has been a tremendous rise in the number of immigrants during the last five to ten years. Because Ireland has no working restrictions on immigrants from within the European Union once they arrive, the country has witnessed huge increases in workers, particularly from Poland and Lithuania . Such changes often require police to become more adaptable. “In Ireland, until recently, police didn’t have to worry about translation services, for both victims and suspects,” she notes, “but we’ve come a long way in a short time”  in dealing with language and cultural differences.

One of the most striking contrasts she recalls while studying at John Jay was the relationship that Americans have with guns. “Our culture just doesn’t have it,” she says. “We have an unarmed police force in Ireland . We carry a truncheon, but mostly we rely on our brains and our blarney to control situations.”

 
Student Highlights

Whenever there is a major criminal case or police incident that is making news, John Jay’s faculty are often called upon by the press to help explain what is often a complex situation. The controversial and tragic police shooting of Sean Bell on November 25 was no exception. This time, though, WNYC Radio took a slightly different approach. It wanted to find out what the shooting and the reaction to it meant to those studying for careers in law enforcement. Reporter Elaine Rivera spoke to four students from Sinead Keegan’s Government 101 class: Jonathan Hall, Keeva Jeffrey, Aarti Dalal and Kadi Seela. “I think everyone is working in the construct of racism that started with the beginnings of this country,” Hall noted. “I’m a US Marine. I know how it feels to carry a weapon. I’m black, I know what it is like to walk in a neighborhood and feel uncomfortable...at the same time I know my own racial preconceptions, serving in Iraq and how that plays out-- being in a dangerous environment and putting those same preconceptions on every Arab person in Iraq, Kuwait and in the Middle East .” Jeffrey said, “When this incident happened my husband asked me if I was still interested in a career in law enforcement. I told him yes because I believe that if you are not part of the solution then you can’t complain about the problem.” Looking to her future as a law enforcement officer, Dalal hopes one day to “help regain the faith and trust” of the public that is often lost in the aftermath of such incidents. For Seela, the death of Sean Bell is reminiscent of the Amadou Diallo shooting. Living in Africa at the time, she recalled being shocked by what she read about the Diallo shooting “and here it is, the same thing.” Their comments aired December 14.

Office of Alumni Affairs, 555 West 57th Street, Room 608, NY, NY 10019 - Phone 212.237.8547, Email: alumni@jjay.cuny.edu, http://www.jjay.cuny.edu/alumninews