Newsroom Archive


Community Policing Leadership Institute Roundtable Focuses on Unique Challenge of Girls in the Juvenile Justice System

NEW YORK, NY (December 18, 2009) – The John Jay College of Criminal Justice Community Policing Leadership Institute convened 27 experts in the fields of law enforcement, juvenile justice and social services together for its inaugural roundtable discussion on The Unique Challenge of Girls in the Juvenile Justice System on December 9th in Westchester County, NY. The meeting agenda included presentations on the most critical questions we need to ask regarding research, data collection and the current state of girls in the juvenile justice system; media perceptions of girls in crime; and creating effective prison re-entry, corrections and probation programs specifically for girls.

The keynote speaker was Sarah Garland, author and former New York City crime reporter, who spoke about her experiences in the field while researching her book Gangs in Garden City: How Immigration, Segregation and Youth Violence are Changing America’s Suburbs. Ms. Garland gave detailed accounts about teenage gang life in Long Island from three immigrant girls’ perspectives whom she interviewed. Her closing remarks highlighted the importance of incorporating women and girls into research and data collection on gang violence because it is a growing problem nationwide in suburban as well as urban communities and among white middle and working class youth as well as minorities. She urged participants to keep other larger societal issues like jobs and the economy in mind when developing solutions to gang violence.

The roundtable was facilitated by Frank G. Straub, Ph.D., executive director of John Jay Community Policing Leadership Institute and former Commissioner of Public Safety in White Plains, NY. Dr. Judith Kornberg, dean of Continuing and Professional Studies, delivered the welcome remarks. Presenters were Elizabeth Glazer, Esq., chairperson of the NYS Juvenile Justice Advisory Group; Delores Jones-Brown, Ph.D., director of John Jay Center on Race and Crime; Stephen Handelman and Cara Tabachnick, director and assistant director of John Jay Center on Crime, Media and Justice; Lieutenant James Spencer and Detective La Valle Larrier, White Plains Police Department; and Maria Cheevers, MEd, principal of Grants Etcetera.

Concluding the discussion, Dr. Straub noted that an action plan for advancing policy and integrated law enforcement and social services programs focused on improving the juvenile justice system for girls will be developed from the recommendations made at the meeting. Concurrently, a media plan to increase awareness about this issue will also be developed. The proceedings were recorded and a white paper will be written for nationwide distribution.    

This roundtable and its publication have been funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), which was established in 1994 and has invested over $12 billion to add community policing officers to the nation’s streets, enhance crime fighting technology, support crime prevention initiatives, and provide training and technical assistance. The COPS representative participating at the meeting was Ms. Tawana Waugh, a policy analyst assigned to investigating this important juvenile justice issue.   

For more information regarding the John Jay College Community Policing Leadership Institute roundtable, contact Marilyn Simpson at or 212-237-8641.   

About the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Community Policing Leadership Institute

The Community Policing Leadership Institute (CPLI) is a newly restructured center of excellence within the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Office of Continuing and Professional Studies. Originating as the NY-NJ Regional Community Policing Institute established in 1997 by a U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services grant, the CPLI focuses on advancing its mission to engage police and community in active collaboration to reduce crime, maintain order and improve the quality of life through relevant programs and courses. To learn more about the Community Policing Leadership Institute, visit or contact Dean Judith Kornberg, Ph.D., at 212-484-1364 or

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