Podcasts

John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Never Mind Illegal, It’s Wrong

June 13, 2012 | CUNY Lecture Series, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

When it comes to reducing gang-related crime violence, ethics can often be a more effective tool than traditional law enforcement, according to criminologist David Kennedy. “In a place where people don’t believe in the law, calling something ‘wrong’ is much more powerful than calling it illegal,” says Kennedy, who directs the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at John Jay College. As part of the Symposium Series at the college, Kennedy, in a lecture “Gangs and Crime: Reduction Strategies,” discusses his groundbreaking work that brings gang members together with community members, social services representatives and law enforcement officials, to help bring “domestic tranquility” to high-crime communities.

Mercury Rising — and Rising

April 8, 2012 | CUNY Lecture Series, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Mercury — a complex environmental pollutant — is still on the rise. Indeed, it’s the only pollutant in the U.S. and around the globe for which advisories continue to increase, according to Anthony Carpi, professor of environmental toxicology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. When Mercury from natural or manmade causes, such coal-fired plants, leaves the atmosphere it “undergoes this hopscotching effect,” says Carpi, who recently led a team of researchers through the Amazon to study mercury mobility, “where a source in China could impact water resources in northern Canada.” The winner of the 2011 U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, Capri’s talk focused on mercury levels in the Amazon, as part of the Serving Science Cafe lecture series.

At Guantànamo, 172 Remain

September 20, 2011 | CUNY Lecture Series, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

With President Obama’s plan to close Guantànamo Bay detention camp blocked by Congress, the fate of 172 detainees still imprisoned remains in question, said Gita Gutierrez, an attorney for the defense. “Guantànamo really is a living death” for clients there, said Gutierrez of the Center for Constitutional Rights, at an event at John Jay College, “The Guantànamo’s Lawyers Panel.” The discussion was held in conjunction with the “Art of Justice: 9/11 Performance Project” at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater and moderated by the award-winning actress and social advocate, Kathleen Chalfant.
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Commencement Speakers Across the University Urge Graduates To Fight Injustice

June 20, 2011 | John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Newsmakers, William Macaulay Honors College at CUNY

CUNY’s class of 2011 celebrated their achievements at commencement events held across the City. Playwright Tony Kushner, attorney and activist Lynn Paltrow, essayist and The New Yorker staff writer Adam Gopnik, educator Geoffrey Canada and former New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein were among the distinguished speakers who challenged this year’s graduates to achieve and challenge wrong despite overwhelming resistance.
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On the Internet Road to Revolution

March 22, 2011 | CUNY Lecture Series, Graduate Center, Hunter College, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, William Macaulay Honors College at CUNY

A junior at Macaulay Honors College at Hunter and eyewitness to the massive demonstrations in Egypt, watched firsthand as social media platforms like Facebook were used to help mobilize the political protests. “People who normally would use the Internet as a distraction, now used it as a tool to organize,” says Alex Schindler, who was studying Arabic at the American University in Cairo during the weeks-long uprising. Schindler and Norhan Basuni, a senior at the CUNY Baccalaureate program at John Jay College, who was also in Cairo, shared their experiences at the CUNY Study Abroad Re-entry Conference at the Graduate Center. “The day after the government started messing with the Internet, Tahrir Square went from a few thousand protesters to 100,000 people,” says Schindler.
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White House Honors for John Jay Professor

March 18, 2011 | John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Newsmakers

In a White House ceremony earlier this year, Anthony Carpi, professor of Environmental Toxicology at John Jay College, was recognized with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring — the most prestigious honor in his field. “It was an absolute thrill to see the program that we had initiated become so effective and to be recognized on a national level,” says Carpi, who was nominated by the college and selected by the National Science Foundation for his work in creating PRISM. The undergraduate research initiative creates opportunities for forensic science students to engage in faculty-mentored research projects. It was also gratifying, Capri says, “to meet the president, who has been so involved with science and education.”
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Judges in Robes … and Lab Coats

November 16, 2010 | CUNY Lecture Series, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

For more than 70 years the court opinion in Frye v. United States set the standard for scientific evidence: It would be admissible in court if it was based on science generally accepted as reliable in the scientific community. But in 1993, a landmark decision by the Supreme Court in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, ruled the decision on scientific evidence would rest with the trial judge. In a lecture entitled, “Judge and Jury: Psychology in the Courtroom,” part of the Serving Science Cafe Series, Margaret Bull-Kovera argues that the Daubert ruling was too broad and judges are ill-suited gatekeepers of admissible scientific expert testimony. “Guess how many judges have training in science?” asks Bull-Kovera, professor of psychology at John Jay College of Criminial Justice. The answer: “Not many.”
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Downside of “Stop and Frisk”

July 13, 2010 | John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Newsmakers

Since 2003 the number of “stop and frisk” encounters by the New York City Police Department has more than tripled, from roughly 161,000 to 576,000 in 2009, but only about 12 percent of those people were charged with criminal activity, according to a report by the Center on Race, Crime and Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Opponents of this practice call it racist–the majority of those stopped are black and Hispanic–as well as ineffective. “The return rate on these stops is minuscule,” says Delores Jones-Brown, director of the center and the lead author of the report, “Stop, Question & Frisk Policing Practices in New York City: A Primer.” “We would not accept that kind of return in any other profession.” Jones-Brown discusses how the policy has impacted the relationship between the NYPD and the public and what could be done to improve the communication between the two. “There needs to be a survey of police officers,” says Jones-Brown, “to determine what’s motivating them to engage in stopping.”
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Climbing the FDNY Ladders to the Top

June 29, 2010 | John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Newsmakers

For Salvatore Cassano, nothing compares to the rush he would get from fighting fires. “The excitement of being able to help people never goes away,” says Cassano, who was appointed the 32nd commissioner of the New York City Fire Department in January 2010. “I hear a siren now and I figure I should be responding some place–I miss it every day.” In his forty-year career, Cassano has held every job in the department including chief, the highest-ranking uniformed position in the FDNY. In an interview in his Brooklyn office, Commissioner Cassano talked about his years of service, starting as a firefighter in 1969, as well as his experience at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in fire science in 1976. “My professors understood if I was late for class,” recalls Cassano. “They could smell the smoke.”
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Resistance and Hope

May 21, 2010 | CUNY Lecture Series, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Arguably no other historian alive has researched the legendary civil rights leader and scholar W. E. B. DuBois more thoroughly than David Levering Lewis. His two volumes on the life of DuBois won him the Pulitzer Prize twice, in 1994 and 2001; he is the only author to win two awards for biography for back-to-back volumes. A history professor at New York University, Lewis gave a lecture entitled “Two Giants of Resistance,” part of the “Justice and Injustice in 1950s America,” series at John Jay College. “Without DuBois’ militant ideals, mobilizing language and persistent demands for change,” said Prof. Lewis, referring to the first African-American to graduate from Harvard University, “President Obama’s audacious hopes would never have made him such a visionary.”
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