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Renowned Scholars and Leaders Examine the Global Nature of Crime, Justice and Policing at International Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico

New York, NY – July 17, 2008 – John Jay College of Criminal Justice sponsored an International Conference on Justice and Policing in Diverse Societies in San Juan, Puerto Rico from June 9 – 12, 2008.  More than 225 prominent scholars, civic leaders and government officials from more than 20 countries including Australia, Brazil, Chile, Ireland, Israel, India, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Spain, The Netherlands and the United States attended.  During the three-day conference, they presented and participated in 45 panels that looked at the latest research on various criminal justice-related topics.  

Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, the Catholic University of Puerto Rico, Universidad del Sagrado Corazón (USC), University of Puerto Rico, Law School and El Sistema Universitario Ana G. Méndez (SUAGM), leading institutions of higher education in Puerto Rico, are co-sponsors of the conference.

“This conference provided a framework for criminal justice scholars and professionals to share knowledge and discuss strategies to address the most serious challenges of 21st Century.  John Jay College, our faculty and our conference partners are uniquely positioned to foster this important dialogue,” said Jeremy Travis, President of John Jay College.

The Honorable Navanethem Pillay, the only African Judge of the Appeals Division of the International Criminal Court at The Hague, gave the opening plenary address entitled “Gender Justice at the International Criminal Court” on June 10th. Judge Pillay was the first non-white woman appointed Judge of the Supreme Court of South Africa and, as a Judge for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, she led the landmark decision defining rape as an institutionalized weapon of war and a crime of genocide. (Click here to listen to her remarks)

Other plenary speakers were:

  • Hugo Fruhling, Director of the Center for Studies Public Safety (Centro De Estudios en Seguridad Ciudadana-CESC and Professor at the Institute of Public Affairs, University of Chile, Santiago Chile (Click here to listen to his remarks)
  • Jan J.M. van Dijk, Professor of Victimology, Tilburg University, The Netherlands and former Policy Director on Crimes Issues for the United Nations in Vienna (Click here to listen to his remarks)

Among the many important Puerto Rican presenters were:

  • Marta A. Mercado Sierra, Prosecutor, Office of Women’s Affairs, Puerto Rico
  • Honorable Miguel Pereira, Secretary of Corrections, Puerto Rico

The four-day event examined a broad-cross section of criminal justice issues including the latest research on human rights, drug trafficking and drug abuse, child sex abuse, and police training.  

Panel topics included:

  • Curbing Corruption: Global Understanding
  • Police Reforms: Agenda of Change
  • Governance and Cyber Crime
  • Fighting Terrorism
  • Domestic Violence International
  • Latin American Prisons and Justice
  • Evolving Sentencing Systems
  • Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Judging
  • Reflections on Race Crime and Criminal Justice

For more information on the international conference on Justice and Policing Diverse Societies in San Juan, Puerto Rico, including the conference program, visit:


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 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students from more than 135 nationsIn 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

The Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico ( Interamerican University) is the largest private institution on the island and in all of the Caribbean, and in 1944, it became the first institution outside the continental United States to be accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. 

Ana G. Méndez University System (AGMUS) is a private non-profit institution of higher education with an enrollment of more than 39,000 students, which transforms AGMUS to the higher education institution in Puerto Rico with the highest growth rate in recent years.  Universidad del Este, Universidad del Turabo, Universidad Metropolitana, thirteen university centers around the Island and two in the state of Florida are part of AGMUS.  Furthermore, is the only university institution that manages Channel 40 and 26, NuevaVisión, stations affiliated with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). For more information, access or call 1-800-SISTEMA (747-8362).

The Universidad del Sagrado Corazón (USC), the oldest private educational institution on the Island, was established in 1880 by the religious order of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart as an elementary school. In 1935, the government issued a charter establishing the Colegio Universitario del Sagrado Corazón.  In 1970, the Sisters of the Sacred Heart transferred the governance of the Institution to a lay Board of Trustees; in 1972 a coeducational policy was approved, and in 1976, the official name was changed to Universidad del Sagrado Corazón.

The Universidad del Sagrado Corazón offers Associate, Bachelor’s, Professional Certificate and Master’s degrees programs in six departments: Business Administration, Communication, Education, Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences and a bachelor’s degree in Multidisciplinary Studies. This year the Universidad del Sagrado Corazón celebrates the 128 years of its educational project.  For more information, visit, or call 787-728-1515.