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Noted Scholars, Legislators and Journalists Explore Criminal Justice Reforms at John Jay Symposium on Crime in America

Belleville News-Democratand Austin Chronicle Receive Criminal Justice Reporting Awards

New York, NY, January 27, 2010 – Former Pasadena police chief Bernard Melekian, the new director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, Connecticut State Senator John Kissel, former NYC Correction Commissioner Martin Horn, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, and CNN Correspondent and New Yorker writer Jeff Toobin head the list of speakers at the 5th Annual Harry Frank Guggenheim Symposium on Crime in America at John Jay College, Feb 1-2, 2010.

This year’s Symposium, the only national gathering which brings together journalists, legislators, scholars and practitioners for discussions on the state of the U.S. criminal justice system, will focus this year on Criminal Justice Reform: What's Working? What's Not? What Don't We Know? Panel topics range from the impact of the financial crisis on corrections, and new directions for juvenile justice, to the future of problem-solving courts.

Twenty-one journalists from print, broadcast and online outlets across the nation have also been selected as Reporting Fellows to attend the prestigious two-day conference, which will include a special look at the state of criminal justice journalism today, and presentation of awards to the winners of the 2010 John Jay Award for Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting.

Overall support for the conference, prize and fellowships comes from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation. Additional support is provided by The Open Society Institute and The Public Safety Performance Project of the Pew Center on the States. These organizations did not participate in the review or selection of the fellows. The symposium is organized by John Jay’s Center on Media, Crime and Justice (CMCJ).

For more information, please contact: CMCJ director Stephen Handelman (646-557-4563); or deputy CMCJ director Cara Tabachnick (212 484-1175)

A full list of the 2010 fellows and their reporting projects appears below.

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 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

The Center on Media, Crime and Justice, established at John Jay College in 2006, is the nation's only practice- and research-oriented think tank devoted to encouraging and developing high-quality reporting on criminal justice, and to promoting better-informed public debate on the complex 21st century challenges of law enforcement, public security and justice in a globalized urban society. For more information, visit or

The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation sponsors scholarly research on problems of violence, aggression, and dominance. The foundation provides both research grants to established scholars and dissertation fellowships to graduate students during the dissertation-writing year. For more information, visit

2010 Fellows and Projects

Edith Brady-Lunny The Pantagraph. reporting project: inside Sheridan Drug Prison, an alternative for drug offenders in Illinois

Lion Calandra, New York Daily News reporting project: Rikers Island (NY) education program for youth offenders.

Charles Cherry, II. , Florida Courier, reporting project: Disproportionate Minority Contact with juvenile offenders in Florida sentenced to life without parole.

Jon Craig, The Cincinnati Enquirer, reporting project: reducing prison populations in Ohio and Kentucky.

Gil Halsted, Wisconsin Public Radio, reporting project: examination of Wisconsin Governors Pardon Advisory Board.

Matthew Hamilton, The News-Star (Louisiana). reporting project: how Louisiana is implementing the “Missouri Model” for treatment of juvenile offenders.

Amber Hunt, Detroit Free Press, reporting projECT: Creating new multimedia approach to mapping and analyzing Detroit crime.

Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times, reporting project: examination of Los Angeles’ Second Chance Women’s Reentry Court.

Joseph Kolb, The Gallup Herald, reporting project: the Unborn Victims Act (2004) and its application to crime in tribal lands.

Kaitlyn Laabs,WBRU-FM Providence, RI. reporting project: juvenile justice in Rhode Island.

Matthew LaPlante, The Salt Lake Tribune. reporting project: veterans’ paths to prison: “From Combat to Lockdown.”

Lee Suevon The Ocala Star-Banner, reporting project: the impact of Florida’s sentencing laws.

Eileen Markey, WNYC Public Radio. reporting project: juvenile justice reform in New York State.

Scott Michels,Freelance, reporting project: the plight of the mentally ill in the justice system.

Wendy Norris,, reporting project: investigative series on the FACE act, and its effect on curbing disruptions at abortion clinics.

Jessica Pupovac, freelance. reporting project: the role played by Chicago’s business community in reducing recidivism rates.

Jordan Smith, Austin Chronicle. reporting project: alternative courts in Texas.

Alan Sverdlik, The Cherokee Ledger-News. reporting project: treatment of drug offenders in prisons.

Doug Swanson, The Dallas Morning News.reporting project: investigation of privately owned and operated prisons.

Lance Tapley, Portland (ME) Phoenix. reporting project: investigations of medical and psychiatric care at prisons in Maine and Rhode Island.

Bernice Yeung, Miller-McCune Magazine, reporting project: investigation of the “Travis County Experiment” on probation for low-risk offenders.