16th Annual Conference - Gang and Youth Violence Prevention: Moving Forward



7:45-8:20 a.m.              Registration and Continental Breakfast 


8:20-8:30 a.m.              Welcoming  Remarks 


8:30-9:15 a.m.              YOUTH PANEL PRESENTATION:

Young people from the Huntington Youth Bureau and S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth Inc. discuss problems facing young adults in difficult family, peer, and community circles that could potentially lead to gang involvement as a replacement support structure. 


9:15-10:30 a.m.            PLENARY SESSION: 

Past, Present, Future: Prevention/Intervention Practices

That Promote  Positive Youth Development 

The Honorable Fernando Camacho, Suffolk County Supreme Court 

The Honorable Teresa Kaczmarek  Corrigan, Nassau County Family Court Dr. Evelyn Blose Holman, Bay Shore School Superintendent (1994 to 2011) Gregory Singer, Uniondale U.F.S.D. District Administrator

Rahsmia Zatar, Executive Director, S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth Inc. 

The panelists shed light on the current state of juvenile justice, youth development, education, and gang prevention/intervention strategies

on Long Island. Questions for this session were developed by a subcommittee

of the Safe and Supportive Schools and Communities Consortium. 


10:30-10:45 a.m.          Break 


10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.   Workshop  Session I 


12:15-1 p.m.                 Lunch 


1-1:15 p.m.                   Break 


1:15-2:45 p.m.              Workshop Session II

1:15-2:45 p.m.              Workshop Session II: 




Gangs 101

This workshop is now a classic among the offerings of our annual conference.   The “Basic 101” is an informal recap of gangs, gang trends in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, and gang identifiers (colors, signs, tattoos,  etc.) designed  for teachers, administrators,  youth developers  and others who have little or no knowledge  of gangs and what they are about.

Presenters:  Jill Porter,  Gang Intelligence, Suffolk County Probation Department

Sharon Galvin, Police Officer, Nassau County Police Department 


Crime Prevention  From an Early Childhood  Lens

Many problematic adolescent behaviors have their roots in early childhood  – long before children enter school. This session will review the research on how brain development in the preschool years affects school performance  and behavior in later years. Also discussed will be a range of innovative strategies that can ensure that children are thriving in environments that will help them avoid violence and gangs in the future.

Presenter:  Dana Friedman,  EdD, Founder and President, The Early Years Institute 


Trauma Room Partnerships for Intervention Opportunities Learn how  hospital  trauma  room  staff are partnering  with  community-based  organizations  to provide  opportunities for  successful violence  intervention.    Nationally,  trauma room  staff and violence intervention  organizations have begun to recognize the value of connecting  youth with support services while still in the hospital, leading to a higher rate of success in engagement  and reduction in future incidences of violence.

Presenters:  Marvin  Berg, Trauma/Injury Prevention/Community Outreach Coordinator, Nassau University Medical Center

Erik Cliette, MD, Harlem Hospital Center, NYC 


Family Finding: The Importance  of Caring Adults in

Reducing Youth Recidivism in the Juvenile Justice System

Family Finding is a six-step model that helps locate and engage family members and other caring adults to form a lifetime support network for disconnected at-risk youth.  This workshop provides an overview of the Family Finding model and the tools used to locate and engage family members and other natural supports, and discusses the importance  of reaching out to relatives who may have lost contact with the youth.

Presenter:    Tess Mahnken-Weatherspoon, LMSW, MPA, Director of Family Finding Services, Hillside Family of Agencies 


Our Youth, Substance Abuse, and the Juvenile and Criminal

Justice Systems

The “school-to-prison pipeline” destroys communities, students and their families. The problem  also drains state and local resources, with the added expense of law enforcement, the juvenile justice system, and prisons under existing government budget constraints. This workshop explores the “pipeline crisis” and its roots and repercussions.

Presenter:    Bryn Catapano,  LCSW, ADS, Human Services/Nassau County Employee

Assistance Program, Nassau County Behavioral Health Campaign 


Memoir as a Tool for Action in the Juvenile Justice Movement:

A Story-Based Strategy for Youth Empowerment and

Systemic Change

Did you know that New York is one of only two states that prosecute and sentence 16- and 17-year-olds as adults, incarcerating them in adult prisons and jails? Learn about the NYS Raise the Age Campaign

– why it is important and innovative ways that the voices of our local young people make a difference. Co-presenters from Herstory Writers Workshop and the Raise the Age Campaign of the Juvenile Justice Project of the Correctional Association of New York share three stories of incarcerated teen girls, followed by a panel discussion that focuses on statewide efforts to reform the youth justice system. Panelists also share the potential to initiate policy change through the Herstory Method of storytelling.

Presenters:   Erika Duncan, Founder and Artistic Director of Herstory, and novelist and essayist

Serena Liguori, Advocacy and Social Justice Program Director, Herstory

A. Pinto, Correctional Association of New York 


An Overview  of Community and Family Support  and


Strong families are core to the development of healthy children, youth, schools and communities. Clearly, there is a growing  need to explore new and effective practices to foster meaningful collaborations among families, schools, and communities that capitalize on the strengths and resources of each. This workshop will briefly explore key elements of family engagement,  how to build organizational cultures that promote  community and family engagement,  and some effective ways to engage families

Presenter:   Angela M. Zimmerman, MPA, Coordinator, Family Support Long Island, Molloy College


Working  With the District  Attorney for Our Youth

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice is dedicated  to youth-oriented initiatives as a crime prevention  strategy. She has pioneered  a host of initiatives that are open to the public, including the Youth Court, jobs programs, Project Safe Neighborhood, Not My Child, S.T.O.P. Then SEND, Peacemakers, and the Long Island Youth Safety Coalition.   Representatives will review how these initiatives work and how to access them.

Presenters:  Rene P. Fiechter, Nassau County Assistant District Attorney and Director, Community Affairs

Assistant District Attorneys Kara Kaplan, Director of the Nassau County Youth Court, and Arianne Reyer, Assistant Director of the Nassau County Youth Court; two members of the Council of Thought and Action (COTA)




Social Media: The Double-Edged Sword

In this workshop, presenters address the pros and cons of social media and explore the impact it may have on youth development and youth violence.

Presenters:  Sharon Galvin, Nassau County Police Officer, Community Affairs Unit

Jill Porter, Suffolk County Probation Department Officer and Probation

Department Gang Intelligence Officer

Blanca Duarte, Founder of LogicWing, a technology consulting company focused on creating and sustaining 21st century learning environments through education and ongoing maintenance of Web-based technologies. 


Past, Present, Future — Key Elements of Keeping

Communities Safe and Kids Productive:  Lessons Learned

This workshop presents ways in which well-organized responses that address the key environments in which young  people  operate  (family, community,  school and peers) can greatly  reduce  the chance of their long-term  involvement  in one or more of a variety of service systems, and keep them safe in the community with the support they need to grow productively.   The workshop will combine lecture and experiential learning.

Presenter:   Lawrence Murray,  independent  consultant and award-winning executive manager and program developer of youth service programs for at-risk young people for nearly 40 years 


Learning the Signs of Substance Use/Abuse Can Be the

Difference  in Saving a Child’s Life

In this workshop,  we will discuss and learn how to  tell  if your child/student is experimenting and/or abusing drugs and alcohol; the latest trends in drug use and abuse, including prescription drugs and heroin;  and how to  become  proactive  and take steps to  make your home, school, and community safer. Prevention, education and awareness are the best tools to fight this battle. Also included is a viewing of Impact, the new teenage substance abuse prevention video.

Presenter:   Pamela F. Stark, Detective, Nassau County Police Department, Community Affairs 


Family Finding: The Importance  of Caring Adults in Reducing Youth Recidivism in the Juvenile Justice System See Workshop D for description. 


Strengthening Communities Through Capacity Building to Establish High-Performance Community Coalitions:

A Step-by-Step Workshop for Prevention  Providers and

Community Champions

Substance abuse prevention has become more focused on population-level change, moving away from the one-on-one  focus of specific programs. While strategies that focus on the individual are still imperative,  to change conditions  for individuals,  we also need to address conditions  in the shared environment. If a community wants to change behavior or attitudes, it is important to know what is going  on in that community.  A grassroots coalition  can be the eyes and ears to provide important  information  about the community in order to develop  sustainable change.  Please join us to share your success stories.

Presenters:  Robin McKinnon,  MS, Community Development  Specialist

Pamela Mizzi, MS, CASAC, LMHC, Director of Prevention, Prevention Resource Center 


Memoir  as a Tool for Action in the Juvenile Justice

Movement: A Story-Based Strategy for Youth

Empowerment and Systemic Change

See Workshop F for description.

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