Albany – Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee welcomed Jim Behrens, investigator, Rockland County Sheriff’s Department and Mariann McCarney-Haesch, assistant director, Rockland County Youth Bureau as they participated in an Assembly roundtable discussion exploring ways to prevent gang membership and combat gang activity.
The discussion featured input from gang prevention experts involved in diversion initiatives, law enforcement, and education and included discussion of social factors that lead to membership in gangs as well as initiatives that have been successful in preventing gang activity. Additionally, the forum discussed the impact of gangs in youth detention facilities. Participants also discussed the impact of the current economic recession on gang activity and its effect on state and local government gang diversion programs.
“Joining a gang should never be an acceptable option,” said Assemblywoman Jaffee. “We must give our children productive alternatives, such as high quality after-school programs, that will yield positive, long-term results, like preparing for higher education or participating in community service. I’m grateful for Mr. Behrens’s and Ms. McCarney-Haesch’s participation in this important discussion.”