EDITOR'S CORNER

We round up June's security, technology and threat group focus with a spotlight on what the law enforcement and corrections communities are doing to save our youth from gangs. Everyone from gang prevention professionals to community advocates are attending this week's National Youth Gang Symposium to find out what they can do to prevent kids from getting caught up in the destructive vices of gangs. Reporter Ann Coppola details the mission behind the event.
Jim, Corrections.com editor



FEATURED STORY

All hands on deck

By Ann Coppola

Taking back our kids

According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), most Americans live in or near areas that have problems with youth gangs. There are an estimated 760,000 active youth members in 24,000 gangs throughout the United States. Since everyone, from parents to teachers to criminal justice professionals, directly interact with gang-involved youth, it is an issue that truly calls for an all-hands-on-deck approach to manage.

The 2008 National Youth Gang Symposium is underway this week to answer that call. This is the fifth event launched by the collective efforts of the OJJDP, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and the National Youth Gang Center (NYGC). The event has been held once every three years since 1996. This year, a diverse audience of almost 1,200 people are descending upon Atlanta, Georgia for four days of more than 90 gang-related workshops. Read this week's full story.

READER FEEDBACK

Regarding Jail 101, 6/22/08

Interesting article! I agree that there should be courses on jails. At that present time fewer than 10 schools out of more than 1,300 with criminology/criminal justice courses offer a course on jails.

One of my goals is to get a jail course established in one school of each of the 50 states. I favor the Washburn University model, which is a jail course co-taught on two weekends (Friday, four hours, Saturday eight hours, and Sunday 8 hours). Students are not permitted to enroll if they refuse to visit jails. So far, the model has been used at Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas; Western Nebraska Community College, Scottsbluff, Nebraska; and the University of West Florida in Pensacola. The text, Exploring Jail Operations, 2003 by the American Jail Association, is based on my visits to more than 700 jails in 48 states. I have co-taught the jail courses in all of the above schools and am working to persuade more academics to accept the challenge.

One interesting jail course that I helped get started will be taught this fall at the Franklin County Jail in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. This will be co-taught by the Criminal Justice Chairman, Jim Jengeleski, and the Jail Administrator, John Wetzel, Adjunct Professor. It will be a weekly course and, I understand, be finished in November. I understand they will be using my book and the book written by Gary Cornelius.

From a personal standpoint, it would be a real boost if the media spent more time trying to understand the jail as a community agency. Why are jails the principal mental institutions in the country today? Why is there such a dismal lack of public education about jails as community agencies? What are the factors which contribute to so many inmates falling into the recidivist cycle?

Alcohol/drug treatment programs, education, vocational training, social services all have something to offer offenders, but all too frequently these services are not well integrated into jail reentry programs when people leave jail to return home. What can communities do to make jail reentry programs more successful?
Ken Kerle, Ph.D., Managing Editor American Jail Association

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LOOKING AHEAD

Developing Stories

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Focus Issues 2008


July
Women in corrections - Profiling successful women practitioners and the issues they face

August
Off the Clock - What practitioners do in their leisure time

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EVENTS

G.R.E.A.T. National Conference

Date: 7/16 - 18/08
You are invited to participate in the wealth of knowledge available to you at this year’s training conference for the Gang Resistance Education And Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program. Read more.

35th Annual Conference & Training Institute

Date: 7/20 - 24/08
The National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice is pleased to announce the celebration of their 35th Anniversary in the beautiful city of Orlando, Fla. Read more

True Lies: Detecting Deception

Date: 7/21/08
This course is designed to help you understand the world of deception. We give you insight to uncover truths or lies during your interviews and casual conversations. Read more.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"Every increased possession loads us with new weariness."
- John Ruskin, English critic, essayist and reformer
(1819 - 1900)


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