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September 13, 2016

Roberts Launches “Justice & Security Institute”

Institute to House Newly Created Greater Rochester Public Strategic Diversity Initiative 

Executives from local law enforcement, government, higher education, K-12 and justice advocates gathered at Roberts Wesleyan today as the college launched its Justice & Security Institute. This program involves a diverse group of professional public safety organizations, students and faculty fostering dialogue, research, evaluation and training to enhance policy and practice in the areas of Homeland Security, Social Justice and Restorative Justice.

“Our institute will provide real-life, hands on opportunities for students to learn in the classroom, through simulated practice, and community internships,” said President Deana L. Porterfield of Roberts Wesleyan College. “At the end of the day, our goal is to make a positive difference in the community by engaging and responding to many social issues, including criminal justice, racism, domestic disputes as well as intended violence. Students will have the opportunity to learn about these complicated issues and to gain greater awareness for equality for all people.”

The Institute will focus on the following initiatives:

  • Education, research and evaluation of the social issue of intended violence that manifests in workplace and educational institution mass shootings, domestic violence, targeted homicide, terrorism and hate crimes
  • Collaborative, multidisciplinary dialogue and evaluation of threat assessment and management strategies to prevent acts of intended violence
  • Creation of mechanisms for the effective reporting and sharing of concerning behaviors, culminating in the implementation of a county-wide threat assessment team for responding to threats of intended violence
  • Collaborative research, evaluation and training in the broad area of Social and Restorative Justice issues, most specifically in the policy and practice

The Institute is led by director Mark Concordia, who also serves as Director of the Homeland Security & Applied Intelligence Program at the college and Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice.

“Our community is not much different from many communities across this Great Nation that are challenged by complex justice and security issues,” Concordia said. “Our community is willing to come together and make changes. Students will one day become police officers, special agents, law enforcement financial analysts, intelligence analysts, crime analysts, and more.  It is vitally important that they feel as they can be part of the solution to justice and security issues. Because only together can meaningful change occur.”

Additionally, the college’s Justice & Security Institute will house the “Greater Rochester Public Safety  Strategic  Diversity Initiative” to create greater community access and equity in public safety organizations and provide strategies to change the barriers to inclusion of underrepresented communities.

Roberts Wesleyan was approved by the New York State Education Department in January of 2016 to offer a Bachelor of Science program in Homeland Security & Applied Science, which houses the Justice & Security Institute. 

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