Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, and Jeremy Travis, President of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, today opened “Communities & Justice: Partnerships & Challenges for the 21st Century,” a two-day criminal justice symposium at John Jay College.
This conference marks the first time that a broad coalition of elected and law enforcement officials have come together with community experts in New York City to collectively address national trends in prosecution, crime prevention, and criminal justice strategies.
“There is no greater mission for law enforcement and government than keeping our residents safe,” said District Attorney 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 Borough President 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.”
“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 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.”
The conference is being 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 includes 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 are serving 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, please go here.
“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.
More information could be found here.