BOSTON, Feb. 7, 2017–Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley today presented a group of Jamaica Plain eighth graders with certificates honoring their graduation from a program aimed to help them stay away from drugs, crime, and violence.
Conley and members of his staff visited the presented the awards to approximately 50 students at the James W. Hennigan K-8 School in Jamaica Plain, honoring the kids and teens he called “leaders” for completing the Overcoming Violence program offered by Conley’s office.
The six-week anti-violence program uses an interview documentary, site visits, group discussions, and guest speakers – including Suffolk prosecutors and victim-witness advocates, police officers, and corrections officers – to educate young people about the root causes of violence and the long-term consequences of both positive and negative decisions. Each student who completed the training received a certificate.
“As prosecutors, some of the most important work we do is not in the courtroom, but in the classroom,” Conley said. “The kids who completed this program are better equipped to make positive choices for their own futures, and they’re situated as future leaders in school, the workplace, and the community.”
“The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office has been a great partner in teaching our students about the consequences of violence,” said Boston Public Schools Superintendent Tommy Chang. “Teaching students how to develop conflict resolution skills supports them in becoming responsible members of their communities.”
Conley’s office launched the anti-violence training in 2004 as Understanding Violence. The curriculum was retooled and updated a decade later in 2014 with the help of Conley’s staff, graduate students in the UMass Boston Master’s in Human Services program, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, Boston Public Schools students, and the Boston Police Department.