WEST WINDSOR - The New Jersey Juvenile
Justice Commission (JJC) hosted a
training symposium today entitled, "Educating
Our Communities: Best Practices, Strategies
and Interventions to Address Youth Gangs."
The conference, attended by New Jersey
Attorney General Peter C. Harvey, was
held at the Conference Center of Mercer
County on the grounds of Mercer County
Community College and attracted over 100
with many other things, knowledge is power.
In combating youth gangs, this statement
could not be more true," said Attorney
General Peter C. Harvey. "Our youth
need to know the long term consequences
of joining a gang. Our law enforcement
partners, our teachers and community members,
and our parents and family members need
to know the signs of gang activity if
we are to keep our youth safe from gangs.
Training sessions such as this one are
critical to increasing that knowledge
base. If we can convince our youth that
gangs are the wrong choice, we can prevent
them becoming adult gang members."
In his opening remarks to the attendees,
JJC Executive Director Howard L. Beyer,
stated, "The New Jersey Juvenile
Justice Commission understands that gangs
and gang related activities impact every
community in our State. The JJC is committed
to giving our communities and their youth
the tools they need to succeed,"
said Beyer. "Together, we can make
sure that young people understand that
gang life is not the road to success,
but rather the path to destruction."
The conference was made possible by a
grant from the Department
of Education, Office of Program Support
Services. The two State agencies have
jointly identified the need to address
youth gang activities and issues in New
Jersey through the development of a youth
gang prevention and intervention project.
This training session, part of that project,
provided up-to-date information on the
youth gang presence in New Jersey and
issues associated with identification
and best practices in prevention. Workshop
sessions were conducted by members of
the Juvenile Justice Commission’s
Gang Management Unit and members of the
NJ State Police Street Gang Bureau. Topics
included: Graffiti, Youth Gangs and Music;
Female Gangs; and Kid Rap.
Through the funding provided from the
Department of Education, the JJC has developed
a cutting-edge education curriculum, entitled
Phoenix, that corresponds with the New
Jersey core curriculum standards. Members
of the JJC’s Gang Management Unit
are also available to conduct workshops
in the community. One day training sessions
can be adapted to meet an audience’s
specific needs and information level.
The JJC’s Gang Prevention and Intervention
Initiative has become a highly recognized
resource throughout the State of New Jersey.
The JJC is the state agency responsible
for providing juvenile rehabilitation
and parole services. Established in 1995,
the JJC serves to coordinate services
and policies effecting delinquent youth
throughout the State. From prevention
to parole, the JJC is a partner in the
entire juvenile justice system working
with communities to help redirect the
lives of young people.
Potential & Changing Futures