Middlesex District Attorney Office's Prevention Programs & Initiatives
There is no greater priority we have them protecting the citizens of Middlesex County, especially our children. District Attorney Gerry Leone has proactively collaborated with law enforcement, educators and social service providers to promote health and safety. Specific prevention programs and initiatives are listed below.
Alcohol & Drugs Initiatives
Substance abuse is a serious issue affecting our youth. While underage drinking (including binge drinking) and illegal drug use are continuing to occur, the rise in the illegal use of prescription and over the counter medications is alarming. The Middlesex District Attorney's Office, along with Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, Inc. sponsors many events that address the issue of substance abuse and also participate in community based forums and panels which help prevent substance abuse and the tragic consequences.
Bullying & Cyber Bullying
Acts of bullying and cyber bullying are often the root cause of many violent incidents in our schools. In some cases, the act of bullying itself is a violent act. But in other cases, it is a student who is being bullied — whether through verbal abuse, physical abuse, or online —who at some point responds back in anger and violently at a later time. Bullying may occur through verbal or physical abuse, through gestures, or over the internet. The Middlesex District Attorney's Office, in conjunction with its prevention and intervention partner Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, Inc. takes an active role in training students, parents, and school personnel regarding this national mental health epidemic.
Community Based Justice
The school-based CBJ programs bring together school personnel, public safety professionals, and social service providers in each community. CBJ meetings are convened by a member of the District Attorney's Office and provide a forum to share information about court-involved students. The purpose of the meetings is to devise proactive ways to intervene in the lives of those youth and help steer them away from crime and violence. CBJ has become a national model for violence prevention in our schools.
The presence of gang activities in schools is a serious concern in many communities. DA Gerry Leone partners with the State Police Gang Task Force and Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, Inc. to provide training about all facets of local gang subcultures and also provide insights into gang membership. The trainings focus on signs of gang membership, reasons why kids join gangs, and preventative measures to keep kids out of gangs.
Juvenile Diversion Program
The Middlesex District Attorney's Office Juvenile Diversion Program is a pre-complaint initiative that was created to protect certain juvenile offenders from having a criminal record and providing them with an alternative to prosecution. The goal is to address the root causes of juvenile delinquency, steer the juvenile away from the criminal justice system, and work withy them to make better choices through minimizing significant consequences. The program seeks to strike a balance between appropriate punishment and effective remediation so that young people learn from their mistakes, is held accountable, and do not commit further crimes.
The foundation of any effective school safety program can be summed up in one word — communication. There is no greater priority we have than protecting our children. Each year, the Middlesex District Attorney's Office co-sponsors two safety conferences with Middlesex Partnerships for Youth, Inc. The School Safety Conference is held in the fall and SECURE(Safe Effective Community Understanding for Response) is to be held in the spring. These conferences gather together law enforcement, school personnel, fire services, and other emergency responders to develop comprehensive emergency procedures.ShareThis