Horizon Convention Center Hosts Indiana Criminal Justice Association Fall Conference

Opening session keynote speaker Andrew Collins is pictured discussing his experience framing an innocent man who later became his friend. Photo by: Mike RhodesOpening session keynote speaker Andrew Collins is pictured discussing his experience framing an innocent man who later became his friend. Photo by: Mike Rhodes

By: Mike Rhodes—

Muncie, IN—The 86th Annual Fall Conference of the Indiana Criminal Justice Association (ICJA) was held at the Horizon Convention Center October 9-11, 2019 in downtown Muncie.

Over 160 association members from across the state attended the conference.

The Indiana Criminal Justice Association (ICJA), formerly the Indiana Correctional Association, is a statewide professional member association with the mission of enhancing the continuum of criminal justice in Indiana by focusing on the enrichment of the criminal justice professional and the Criminal Justice System as a whole. The association serves members of the Department of Corrections, probation, parole, community corrections, the courts, law enforcement and more.

In welcoming the ICJA to Muncie, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb commented, “Indiana is a better state thanks to people like you who understand that public service is an integral and honorable way to provide assistance and opportunities to our citizens. Your efforts, actions, and ideas are what keep taking our state to the next level, and your dedication to public service speaks volumes about your character.”

The opening keynote speakers were Andrew Collins and Jameel McGee who authored the book, Convicted: A Crooked Cop, and Innocent Man, and an Unlikely Journey of Forgiveness and Friendship. Their book tells the story of a white narcotics officer who framed a black man for possession of crack cocaine. Both men went to prison. While behind bars, the faith of both men deepened, and they became friends.

A hot topic for the organization concerned all the newdesigner drugs law enforcement is seeing in the field. Ron Gibson, ICJA past president said, “Designer drugs are really hard to deal with. Especially on the law enforcement side of things. As soon as we get a handle on it, the drug makers just change the drug. Then law enforcement officers have to change how they look for drugs again. The process just keeps repeating.”

When asked why the ICJA chose to come to Muncie and the Horizon Convention Center for their conference, ICJA president Mark Murphy laughed and said, “Well originally our executive director Stephen Ingram approached me a year ago and said we should think about coming to Muncie. Our organization was last here for our conference in 2006. I personally hadn’t been to Muncie in over thirty years, so I didn’t know about the new downtown hotel and the new changes downtown. It’s a great little city and is just wonderful. We also appreciated the fact that some of the downtown establishments were open until 2am.”

Eric Hoch, ICJA president-elect said, “The Horizon Center staff were very professional and helpful.  The space at the Horizon Convention Center is just fabulous. The breakout rooms are all good size and the way things are laid out, it just worked perfectly for us.”

About the Horizon Convention Center

Centrally located in a thriving downtown atmosphere, Horizon Convention Center connects personalized service and expertise to fulfill your custom convention, wedding, or event needs. Your guests will love the heart of Muncie!