Nearly 200 criminal justice practitioners and academics gathered at Framingham State University on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 for the 2nd Annual People of Color in Criminal Justice (POCCJ) Conference.
The daylong conference focused on issues of importance to individuals of color working in the criminal justice field was co-hosted by the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office and Framingham State University. This year’s conference included morning remarks by NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Equity & Inclusion Dr. Tracie L. Keesee and a keynote address by Asha Rangappa, a senior lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and CNN contributor.
“I want to thank Framingham State, all our partners and especially Dr. Keesee and Ms. Rangappa for lending their expertise today,” said Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian. “Each and every day, the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office and our law enforcement partners work to ensure we are meeting the needs of those we serve, while also providing effective support for those tasked with carrying out our important public safety missions. This second annual conference is part of our continuing effort to ensure we are providing those critical supports to our employees.”
“It’s an honor to partner with Sheriff Koutoujian and his office on this important event,” said Framingham State University President F. Javier Cevallos. “It’s important to address the issues that people of color who work in and around the criminal justice system face, and I believe this conference can serve as model for other agencies throughout the country.”
This year’s conference featured a half-dozen workshops, including a town hall style conversation led by Deputy Commissioner Keesee on resiliency-based support for career services; a presentation led by Boston Police Officer Nicole Grant regarding strategies for youth engagement in communities of color; and a discussion led by Massachusetts Department of Correction Officer Allyson Hale on issues of gender identity, inclusion and creating healthy and welcoming professional environments. Additional workshops focused on justice reinvestment led by Suffolk University Professor Carlos Monteiro, while Juror Project founder, and Orleans (Louisiana) public defender, William Snowden spoke about reforming the criminal justice system through the jury box.
In addition to members of the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office and Framingham State University, the conference’s steering committee included representatives of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, Hampden County Sheriff’s Department, Harvard University Police Department, Cambridge Police Department, Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, Lowell Police Department and the Boston Police Department.