John Jay College is proving itself a potent springboard for propelling upwardly mobile students into the middle class and beyond. A new report from the Equality of Opportunity Project—“Mobility Report Cards: The Role of Colleges in Intergenerational Mobility”—lists John Jay in the top 10 nationally in intergenerational mobility of students, noting that of the 54 percent of John Jay students who come from lower-income families, 61.1 percent later rise to the top 40 percent in higher income.
According to The New York Times, the City University of New York as a whole has “propelled almost six times as many low-income students into the middle class and beyond as all eight Ivy League campuses.”
“This report recognizes John Jay as a premier institution that enables students, many from traditionally underrepresented groups, to pursue advanced study and meaningful careers in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors,” said President Jeremy Travis. “We are proud to be part of CUNY’s American Dream Machine.”
In March, a report by the Education Trust on black student success ranked John Jay College third in the nation among top-performing colleges and universities.
According to the report, “A Look at Black Student Success: Identifying Top- and Bottom-Performing Institutions,” black students completed their undergraduate degrees at a rate that was 3.1 percentage points ahead of their white peers. Nationally, the study found, white students outperformed blacks by 22 percentage points. John Jay is one of only 10 institutions in the nation that had higher graduation rates for black students than for white students.
President Travis said the report “underscores our firm commitment to student success and diversity, and the effectiveness of our collective efforts.”
Under the Gun
Gun violence in America, seemingly a daily headline in the news media, is the focus of a probing, semester-long examination at John Jay that seeks to shed light on “America’s Gun Epidemic: A Question of Public Health, Security, and Freedom.”The series includes film screenings, art exhibits, book talks, TEDxCUNYSalon presentations, and additional panel discussions. For more information on the gun violence initiative, visit http://johnjay.jjay.cuny.edugunviolence2017.
Good News from NYC Jails
During a 20-year period when jail admissions doubled nationwide, New York City jail admissions dropped by nearly half, according to a report by the Misdemeanor Justice Project on individuals admitted to the custody of the New York City Department of Correction. The dramatic decline in jail admissions occurred against the backdrop of a simultaneous decrease in reported crime of more than 60 percent.
The report, “Trends in Admission to New York City Department of Correction, 1995–2015,” was funded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, and prepared by a research team led by Professor Preeti Chauhan.
“John Jay’s invaluable insights into crime and incarceration trends in New York City are definitive proof that our criminal justice principles—lower crime through community outreach and precision policing, while not limiting civil rights or resorting to increased imprisonment—are working,” said Richard Aborn, president of the Citizens Crime Commission. “This is an example other cities and our federal government can, and should, learn from.”
The Pen is Mightier
Van Jones, the CNN commentator who was a familiar on-air presence during last year’s presidential campaign and election, was honored Feb. 16 as the 2017 Justice Trailblazer by John Jay’s Center on M
edia, Crime and Justice. The award was presented as part of the 12th annual Harry Frank Guggenheim Symposium on Crime in America.The center also presented the annual John Jay/Harry Frank Guggenheim Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting awards, which this year went to Shane Bauer of Mother Jones magazine for his article “My Life as a Prison Guard,” and to Ryan Gabrielson and Topher Saunders of ProPublica for their series “Busted.”In his acceptance remarks, Jones, the co-founder of the advocacy organization Dream Corps, told the journalists in the audience: “I know it might seem that nothing you do matters—it matters! This criminal justice thing is one of the most important things you can do. You have to keep beating the drum, because there are lives on the line.”
With a grant of $4.98 million from the United States Agency for International Development, John Jay College of Criminal Justice has created the Academy for Security Analysis as part of an initiative to provide crime-prevention training for security and justice sector officials and civil society organizations in Central America—a region severely affected by high levels of criminal violence.The project, which will focus on El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, has the support of El Salvador’s National Academy of Public Security, which will provide the venue for the Academy for Security Analysis.The project will be led by Professor Javier Osorio of John Jay’s Department of Political Science. For more information, visit: https://www.aas.jjay.cuny.edu/eng.
Jane Bowers, John Jay’s provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, announced March 15 that she will step down from the dual executive posts and retire, effective Aug. 1.Bowers has been the Provost since July 2007, in that time presiding over a dramatic expansion and transformation of curricular offerings and academic support services. “Provost Bowers leaves behind an unparalleled record of achievement,” President Jeremy Travis said in a message to the College community. “No other college within CUNY has witnessed the level of academic innovation, curricular creativity, and structural reform that we have seen at John Jay under the leadership of Provost Bowers.”The long list of accomplishments under Bowers’s tenure includes the creation of new majors, graduate programs, and John Jay Online; new academic departments; programs to sup- port student academic success and increase degree- completion rates; honors pro- grams for top students; a top-to-bottom overhaul of general education requirements; the phase-out of associate degree admissions and the creation of the CUNY Justice Academy, and the development of vital programs to support the faculty as well the student body.President Travis said he would recommend the appointment of Anne Lopes, the Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Dean of Graduate Studies, as interim provost for the upcoming academic year.
Former New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram, now a professor and scholar-in-residence at New York University School of Law, is the newest member of the John Jay College Foundation Board of Trustees.
Milgram, who joined the Anne Milgram board at its March 9 meeting, served as New Jersey’s chief law enforcement officer from June 2007 to January 2010, overseeing the 9,000-member Department of Law and Public Safety as well as the work of 21 county prosecutors. Previously, she served as Counsel to U.S. Senator Jon Corzine, and as a prosecutor in both the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
Prior to joining the NYU law faculty, Milgram was vice president of criminal justice for the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, where she spearheaded more than $55 million in philanthropic grants, and operational projects. A champion of the use of smart data, analytics, and technology to reinvent the criminal justice system, Milgram led the development and national implementation of a new pretrial risk assessment tool to provide judges with more information for deciding whether to release or jail arrestees.
Milgram holds degrees from NYU School of Law, Rutgers College, and the University of Cambridge.