March has been officially recognized as National Criminal Justice Month by the United States Congress since 2009.
The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS), along with affiliated organizations and officials, encourage all those linked to the criminal justice system, from colleges and universities to nonprofits, policy makers and professionals working in the field, to promote National Criminal Justice Month.
“The purpose of National Criminal Justice Month is to promote societal awareness regarding the causes and consequences of crime, as well as strategies for preventing and responding to crime,” states ACJS.org, adding that “awareness is the first step” toward improving and making our “criminal justice system as effective as possible.”
National Criminal Justice Month Events
The National Criminal Justice Month Facebook page is a great resource to find out about events taking place across the country. Here are some examples:
University of North Texas at Dallas: UNT Dallas already held a successful event where Professor Jeff Ferrell, a criminologist and ethnographic researcher, gave a talk on drifter populations entitled “Dumpster Diving: One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure.” The university will also be taking students on a tour of Hutchins State Jail on March 18th;and on March 19th, everyone is welcome to attend a workshop on sexting and cyberbullying. In addition to UNT Dallas students, approximately 90 high school students will also be participating.
University of Great Falls in Montana: Criminal justice professor Gail Belfert shares that the UGF in Montana will be hosting a panel on child sex trafficking in the oil fields. Additionally Belfert’s students are working on a project for National Criminal Justice Month.
St. Joseph’s College-New York: St. Joseph’s College’s Criminal Justice Department has already been hosting events for National Criminal Justice Month with numerous more planned, including a presentation from one of the Central Park Five. On March 24th, the One For Ten documentary films, featuring ten death row inmates who were wrongfully convicted and then exonerated, will be screened and attendees will also be treated to a Skype discussion with the filmmakers. On March 27th, a domestic violence presentation is planned.
Promoting National Criminal Justice Month
At the very least you can print off the National Criminal Justice Month Flyer and post it on your bulletin board or office door. It is available on the ACJS website, along with other valuable resources.
Vidisha Barua Worley from the National Criminal Justice Month Committee adds that it is not too late to plan something. “You could also show your students some classic criminal justice-related films like Serpico, Traffic, etc. which could be quite inexpensive and quick to organize, but will still increase awareness in the schools,” she says as an example.
For more information on National Criminal Justice Month, visit:
Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences’ National Criminal Justice Month page: http://www.acjs.org/pubs/167_2138_14507.cfm
National Criminal Justice Month Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/144688108878798/