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January 10, 2012

ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN ADDRESSES HATE CRIMES SUMMIT

Joins Department of Justice Officials and Peoria-Area Community Leaders at Event

East Peoria — Attorney General Lisa Madigan delivered a keynote address today at the Hate Crimes Summit convened by U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis, Illinois Central College (ICC), and Easter Seals of Peoria. Summit organizers hosted the event to provide a community response to instances of bullying, violence and hate.

“The consequences of bullying and crimes can be serious and lasting. For many child bullies, their behavior signals the beginning of what becomes a long history of criminal acts,” Madigan said. “That’s why we must work together to prevent and prosecute these offenses that have the potential to ruin lives both young and old.”

“We are pleased to bring together educators, activists, law enforcement and the community to raise awareness and reduce hate-based crime in Central Illinois,” said U.S. Attorney Lewis. “We look forward to working together, federal, state and local officials, to respond effectively to such crimes.”

In addition to Lewis, speakers at the daylong event at ICC’s Performing Arts Center included Justice Department officials, Senior Counselor to the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Matt Nosanchuk and Kenith Bergeron, Senior Conciliation Specialist for the Department’s Community Relations Service. In addition, Jolie Alois, Director of Development for Easter Seals of Peoria, Assistant Attorney General Carlos Ramirez of Madigan’s Civil Rights Bureau and Sarah Migas, Internet Safety Specialist in the Attorney General’s office headed breakout sessions that involved hundreds of summit participants.

Sessions focused on what individuals can do to prevent hate crimes and bring lawbreakers to justice, as well as bullying in the classroom and what state and federal law enforcement agencies are doing to investigate and prosecute hate crimes.

Illinois Central College used the event as part of its commemoration week leading to the national observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Day on Jan. 16, 2012.

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