Junior State of America Students Explore the Intersection Politics and Criminal Justice at October Civic Education Conferences

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October civic education conferences get the year off to a great start, allowing students to sharpen their analytical and debate skills.

New Jersey Fall One-Day at Princeton Univeristy

New Jersey Fall One-Day at Princeton Univeristy

Earlier this month Junior State of America (JSA) students from across the United States met at various colleges and universities for a series of student-run civic education conferences. The conferences were held in Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, Santa Clara, Tempe, Arizona, Irvine, California and Goleta, California. The theme of the events was "Balancing the Scale: Justice in America."

Though the students shared a unified theme focusing on criminal justice issues, the activities at each conference took on a different character with each group of students. The California conferences held a debate about the effects of media coverage on criminal trials. The New York and New Jersey conferences held debates about the controversial Stop and Frisk policy, as well as Edward Snowden's leaks of classified information.

The conferences also featured a variety of Keynote Speakers. Federal Judge Robert Collings spoke to students in Boston Collings spoke about the court system, the effects of 9/11, the Fourth Amendment, the importance of the idea of balance between personal safety and public liberties. Mayor of Princeton, New Jersey and JSA Alumna Liz Lempert spoke to students about her own JSA experience, as well as the challenges of local government.

Junior State of America (JSA): Providing civics education and leadership programs for nearly 80 years, JSA is the largest student-run organization in the United States. School-year programs take place in more than 450 secondary schools in 35 states, with more than 10,000 members. The JSA program is supported by the Junior Statesmen Foundation Inc., a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt educational corporation, which provides guidance to JSA's student leaders. It has offices in San Mateo, Calif., and Washington, D.C. More information is available at http://www.jsa.org or jsa(at)jsa(dot)org.

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Kyle Simmons
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Junior State of America
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