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Forum on crime and violence held in Jonesville well received

Pastor Leon Maxwell was a forum panel member.

Although only 11 citizens attended a forum on crime and violence at the Jonesville Community Center at 4 p.m. Saturday, the people attending seemed to appreciate the effort that was made to hold that meeting within their community.

Reverend Leon Maxwell of Saint Peter AME Church at 300 Fishburne Street in Walterboro, South Carolina Director of Juvenile Justice Dwayne Bennett, and S. C. Department of Corrections Young Offenders Re-entry Program composed a panel that was there to enlighten people about what can be done to combat community crime. “We weren’t looking to turn people in, we were looking for ways to combat the crime that we are experiencing within our communities,” Pastor Maxwell said Sunday. Maxwell is a member of the Colleton County Ministerial Alliance.

Maxwell said that the forum has no official title, but it is just a group of people looking for ways to form some sort of ministry that can bring people together. “This is a gathering of friends to allow people to express their concerns. Although only a few showed up, all of them spoke. “Everyone there from the community shared their feelings about that community, and they weren’t apprehensive, because it was just us.”

Maxwell said the three panel members were there to get information and input, to reach out and offer a listening ear, and to offer information and services that are offered to communities. He termed the forum, which lasted for about and hour and a half, very informative.

Lynette Fryar, who attended the forum, said that the event went smoothly.

Lynette Fryar, who is also a member of the county’s Ministerial Alliance, also attended the forum. “I feel that, while there were not a large number of people at the forum, it was a very productive meeting. The people attending the meeting were open to us, and we were well received. They were glad that their community was chosen, because most meetings are held in Walterboro, and not in rural areas.” Fryar noted that, because the meeting came to the community, the people attending seemed very satisfied.

“This was a really good meeting, because the people participating and everyone on the panel had an open and meaningful dialogue,” Fryar said. She also noted that the subject of those coming out of prison sentences arose during the meeting. “There was concern that there is no place for men to be housed within the county when they come out of jail, and something should be done to reach out and help these people when they get out of jail.”

Fryar said the Saturday meeting acted as “an icebreaker,” and that she is looking forward to future meetings. As someone who attended the meeting said, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Another forum will be set at a future date, but that date has not yet been determined.

Rick Tobin, Editor (434 Posts)