For more than a decade, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ)’s annual conference has brought together criminal justice scholars, policymakers, and practitioners at the local, state and federal levels to share the most recent findings from research and technology at its annual conference in Arlington, VA.
The conference showcases what works, what doesn't work and what the research shows as promising. It puts a heavy emphasis on the benefits to researchers and practitioners who work together to create effective evidence-based policies and practices. UCLA adjunct associate professor Jorja Leap spoke on a panel on "Gang Membership Prevention," along with James Buddy Howell, senior research associate, with the National Youth Gang Center in Tallahassee, FL and Gretchen C.F. Shappert, Project Safe Neighborhoods national coordinator and anti-gang coordinator in the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. The program was moderated by Louis Tuthill, social science analyst, Crime Control and Prevention Research Division, Office of Research and Evaluation, National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.
During the conference, Leap also met with Congressman Robert "Bobby" Scott's office on Capitol Hill to discuss gang prevention. Scott is the sponsor of the Youth PROMISE Act, a comprehensive legislation that is aimed at providing federal resources to communities to implement evidence- and research-based strategies to reduce gang violence and juvenile crime at the local level.