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MSU Criminology Conference Educates the Future of Law Enforcement, Child Services

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Missouri State University is hosting their Sixth Annual Criminology and Criminal Justice Conference.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Educating the next generation of law enforcement, Missouri State University is hosting their Sixth Annual Criminology and Criminal Justice Conference.

More than a thousand students across different disciplines will participate in this conference. They are learning from criminologists on a local and national level about adult and child victims of sexual assault, preventing sexual assault and the offenders who carry out these crimes.

During the conference, expert after expert warned these students about the prolific number number of predators seeking out child and adult victims.

Even harder to hear, parts of this presentation from the Missouri Department of Corrections.

"It's a very difficult topic because some of these people commit heinous crimes," says Dr. Greg Markway. "But at the same time they're going to be released to the community so at the Department of Corrections we have to do everything possible to make sure these offenders have been assessed for their risk level upon return to the community. We want to make sure they have appropriate supervision but they also want to make sure they'll have tools that will decrease the likelihood of them harming someone again." 

Markway works to rehabilitate offenders in the Missouri Department of Corrections. Markway says the DOC has two main missions.

"97 percent of all offenders are going to be released back into so we take it very seriously that it's our obligation that they're in better shape when they go back into the community than when they came to us," says Markway.

There are not just criminology students in this audience. The conference director says she realized just how many students will actually deal with the victims of sexual assault in their work.

"We're more interdisciplinary now," says Ivy Yarckow-Brown Senior Instructor Criminology and Criminal Justice at Missouri State University. "We also appeal to psychology, sociology, social work, the nursing program, the education program." 

Criminology student Jacob Zumdome says peering into the mind of the offender will help him in his future in law enforcement.

"Not just labeling someone as an offender but getting to know why they did something like this," says Zumdome.

This conference continues Thursday, April 3 and includes topics like determining success in a child abuse cases.
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