The Dauphin County Criminal Justice Advisory Board, led by District Attorney Ed Marsico, will host its first-ever symposium for nonprofits, churches and other providers in the community that work with the criminal justice system. The free symposium, which will focus on criminal justice re-entry initiatives, will be held from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 23 at the Rose Lehrman Arts Center at Harrisburg Area Community College.
"A critical part of understanding the function of the Criminal Justice Advisory Board is to clarify how our work can improve lives in Dauphin County," said Marsico. "In its 10-year history, the board has made tremendous strides to get smarter on crime and reduce recidivism, but we still have work to do and getting feedback from the community we serve is key."
The symposium will cover the following topics: the local criminal justice system and CJAB, re-entry and evidence-based practices, risk and need assessments of those in the criminal justice system and next steps. CJAB will also ask for feedback from community providers.
"When someone enters the prison system, we are providing drug and alcohol or mental health treatment as needed so they don't end up in the same spot when they get out," said Dauphin County Board of Commissioners' Chairman Jeff Haste. "Our goal is to concentrate on re-entry and prevention."
"We want to hear from community providers – what works, what can be improved – in the criminal justice system,'' said Commissioner Mike Pries. "It's also an opportunity to hear directly from leaders in the county's criminal justice system and learn more about the ins and outs of the system."
Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III added that having staff on hand at the county's Judicial Center to do a risk and needs assessment of arrestees is key in helping to ensure that tax dollars are not spent locking up those who do not pose a threat to the community.
"The idea is that we want to be smarter on crime and try to cut down on the number of repeat offenders by offering people the help they need,'' Hartwick said. "This approach is indicative of the cooperative relationship the commissioners have with the district attorney, courts and the human services providers."
Anyone interested in attending the symposium should complete the attached registration form or call Catharine Kilgore, criminal justice administrator, in the District Attorney's Office at 717-780-6767.