My name is Jailene Panarella and I graduated from the University of Scranton in 2017 with a B.S. in Criminal Justice. After I graduated I moved back to New York City, where I was born and raised, to pursue my career. I worked as a Crime Victim Advocate for the NYPD in Manhattan for a little over a year before I started my current position.
I now serve as the Senior Special Victims Division Advocate in the Bronx. I work for Safe Horizon, which is the largest non-profit organization in the U.S. that works with thousands of children, adults, and families that have been affected by crime and abuse. Safe Horizon collaborated with the NYPD to place Crime Victim and Domestic Violence Advocates in police precincts throughout New York City.
My role is to support victims of sex crimes who come forward during a criminal investigation. New York state guarantees every crime victim has the right to have an advocat present during the criminal investigation, to sit in on interviews or observe crime scene re-enactments and suspect line-ups. Advocates can also connect the victim to counseling services or shelters.
It has been an honor to watch such brave individuals come forward and tell their stories. People typically think of an arrest or conviction as justice, but here, justice means so much more than that. I think of justice when I see someone share their story, use their voice and take back the control that was taken from them. And I, an advocate, am here to support these victims in reclaiming their lives.
My name is Alexandra Petrullo '17. I am participating in a year-long internship program at the Manhattan Institute for graduate students who wish to pursue careers in policy research. My work includes providing research assistance for the Education Policy and Mental Illness Policy departments. I am using the skills I learned in research methods and statistics to analyze data and conduct literature reviews. I am excited to be applying the concepts I studied as a sociology major at the University of Scranton to New York City’s urban issues.