Press Releases

‘CONNECT NY’ presents ‘Criminal Justice Reform Crime and Punishment in the Empire State’ in September, ‘Guns and a Safer Society’ in October

WCNY, Central New York’s flagship public broadcaster, presents two new episodes on its “CONNECT NY” public affairs TV program series. For viewing information, visit Each episode will be available after it airs online at

Criminal Justice Reform: Crime and Punishment in the Empire State

Sept. 24 at 9 p.m.

Decades into harsh criminal justice sentencing guidelines mandated by bi-partisan approved laws – New York State is left to manage a congested judicial process and clogged detainment facilities.  “CONNECT NY”  takes a look back at how we got here, why the governor has prioritized reforms and what those involved in the justice system see as solutions.


  1. Peter Enns, Cornell University Associate Professor – Department of Government and the Executive Director of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research
  2. Nina Moore, Colgate University Chair – Department of Political Science
  3. David Soares, Albany County District Attorney, District Attorneys Association of the State of NY President
  4. Robert Wells, NYS Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers President
  5. Piotr Banasiak, Managing Attorney for Criminal Programs – Hiscock Legal Aid Society
  6. Philip Rothschild, Supervising Attorney for the Appeals Program – Hiscock Legal Aid Society

Guns and a Safer Society
Oct. 29 at 9 p.m. (Program Airs)

Sept. 27 – Live TV Studio Audience Recording

*NOTE – Public invited to join the live Studio Audience Sept. 27 at WCNY.

Sept. 27 Live TV Studio Audience Recording Details
Doors will open at 5 p.m. and filming begins at 5:30 p.m.

415 W. Fayette St.
Syracuse, NY 13204

RSVP at or call (315) 385-7312.

It’s time to change the conversation around guns. After a yearlong national stalemate on the issue, it’s time to reframe the conversation. Rather than focus on either gun rights or gun control, it’s time to talk about gun safety. On Thursday, Sept. 27, WCNY’s Emmy® Award-winning public affairs show “CONNECT NY” will host a special community conversation at its TV Studios in Syracuse. The conversation will feature a variety of perspectives on guns, gun safety, gun politics, and saving lives.

A Few Points of Discussion:

  1. Why is it so hard to talk about this?
  2. What makes schools and public spaces safer?
  3. What are some universal “best practices” for people who handle guns?
  4. Who is responsible if an angry teen takes his parents’ gun to school?
  5. We welcome your questions too.

WCNY presents a productive conversation around guns with both gun critics and gun rights advocates to find common ground on one of the most polarizing topics in American history.

Episode Description: ‘Guns and a Safer Society’
Airs – Oct. 29 at 9 p.m.

After recent mass shootings across the country in schools, public venues and inside private companies – as a nation there seems to be a stalemate as to how to move forward.  Communities are looking for answers as they discuss gun laws and safety strategies in the hopes that these tragic shootings can be stopped. “CONNECT NY” will record a public forum on this issue on Sept. 27 at the WCNY TV Studios. Susan Arbetter joins a panel of experts and a live studio audience to moderate a discussion on everything from best practices and responsibility when it comes to owning a gun, to why these issues are so difficult to talk about to what actually works when it comes to preventing mass shootings.


Panel Members:

  1. John DeFrancisco, Deputy Majority Leader, (R, C, IP) 50th Senate District
  2. Helen Hudson, Syracuse Common Council President and Mothers Against Gun Violence Founder
  3. Robert Spitzer, Ph.D., SUNY Cortland Distinguished Service Professor Political Science Department, Author, Editor and Speaker
  4. Craig Apple, Albany County Sherriff



CONNECT NY offers lively insightful discussion, information and analysis on timely topics that affect residents across the Empire State. The show tackles those public affairs topics significant in the lives of New Yorkers across the state. Viewers will explore personal experiences, important conflicts and tough issues unfolding at the state level through the lens of the stakeholders involved. The show aims to shed light on potential solutions to the complex problems New Yorkers seek to solve through perspectives from those in government, labor and environmental organizations, community leadership, law, and business.

A panel of leaders and experts lend their perspective in a dynamic discussion moderated by Susan Arbetter, WCNY’s director, public affairs and host of WCNY’s statewide daily broadcast radio show The Capitol Pressroom.”

Haley Dubnoff

Director, Marketing, Communications & Creative Services


415 W. Fayette St.

Syracuse, NY 13204

(315) 385-7317

◄ Back to News