Things to Know
Attorney General Bill McCollum Press Release
Florida Attorney General McCollum, Georgia Attorney General Baker Host National Crime Prevention Conference
~ Annual conference provides strategies, tools to prevent crime in local communities ~
TALLAHASSEE, FL - Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum and Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker today addressed the attendees of the 22nd Annual Conference on Preventing Crime in the Black Community at the conference’s opening session in Orlando. The conference, established by the Florida Attorney General’s Office in 1985 and co-hosted with the Georgia Attorney General’s Office, is a collaborative effort to encourage communication and action within local communities by showcasing innovative ideas and successful prevention strategies that focus on crime issues in African-American neighborhoods.
“Unfortunately, issues such as drugs, gangs and violent crime continue to plague our communities, especially our younger citizens,” said Attorney General McCollum. “This conference is an important tool to assist us in addressing these problems and providing strategies and techniques to implement in our communities and neighborhoods.”
In its 22nd year, the National Conference on Preventing Crime in the Black Community attracts law enforcement officers from Florida and throughout other states. Other invitees include county commissioners, mayors, victim advocates, community members, church groups, teenagers and anyone else interested in stopping the cycle of criminal activity in their neighborhood. More than 2,000 participants from over 25 states and the District of Columbia, as well as representatives from several nations, will come together to address the concerns of crime in minority communities.
"I have joined with Attorney General McCollum in co-hosting this conference to offer a beacon of hope for communities that have seen crime statistics far higher than should be expected or tolerated," said Attorney General Baker. "Participants at this year's conference will work to ensure that our at-risk communities become environments of support and inspiration rather than havens for violent crime and destructive behavior."
The three-day conference features three general sessions and 28 workshops with featured presenters from throughout the country. Representatives from law enforcement, victim services programs, juvenile justice and corrections agencies, local and state governments, schools, faith-based programs, community leaders and other interested citizens from the general public make up the attendees, along with more than 500 teens.
Attorney General McCollum delivered the conference keynote address during the opening session of the conference. In addition to Attorneys General McCollum and Baker the morning session will feature James McDonough, Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections; Douglas Burnett, Adjutant General of the Florida Department of Military Affairs; Gerald Bailey, Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement; Domingo S. Herraiz, Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance Office of Justice Programs for the United States Department of Justice and local elected officials and dignitaries. Workshops will feature dynamic topics such as “Overcoming Neighborhood Crime through Law Enforcement – Community Coalitions,” “Innovative Ways to Fight Crime in the Black Community” and “Hip Hop Culture’s Influence on Youth.”
In addition to the adult sessions and workshops, a full schedule of workshops has been specifically designed for teens and their chaperones. The major activities include a special “Rap Against Violence” program on Thursday evening and an “Anti-Crime Rally and Dance” Friday night. A Saturday morning "Teen Listening Summit" has also been developed which will explore issues associated with community-based violence and prevention initiatives. Teens and adults will participate in an open discussion to share their experiences and insight on factors that contribute to crime and violence.
Included in this year’s program will be a report from the Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys, which was created in 2006 by the Florida Legislature. Housed in the Office of the Attorney General, the Council is charged with conducting a systematic study of socio-economic conditions affecting black men and boys, including income, employment and education.
This year’s conference is being held at the Caribe Royale Orlando Hotel in Orlando. Additional information is available online at http://www.preventblackcrime.com.