Greater Greater Washington Reports on Juvenile Crime Task Force

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Greater Greater Washington wrote about Council Member Tommy Wells’ Task Force created to address Juvenile Crime in Ward 6. GGW lists the proposed initiatives:

Increase Public Transparency and Government Accountability

1. Reform the District’s confidentiality laws so the Department of Youth and Rehabilitations Services (DYRS), Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), DC Public Schools (DCPS), DC Housing Authority (DCHA), the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and related service providers can share information about juveniles who commit crimes, especially violent crimes.
2. Mandate the creation of an interagency database assessment tool for tracking at-risk youth.
3. Make juvenile violent crime data available to the community.

Increase Meaningful Juvenile Offender Accountability

1. Streamline and strengthen the government’s ability to revoke a committed youth’s right to stay in a community placement.
2. Increase compliance with mandated community service for juveniles.

Address Truancy in DC Schools

1. Amend DC law to require families with children under 13 years of younger that miss 10 days of school without an excuse to be referred to Child Protective Services (CFSA) for investigation and/or assessment.
2. Provide truancy data to MPD, Department of Human Services, DC Housing Authority and neighborhood youth groups.

Expand Innovations for Preventing Juvenile Crime

1. Expand the WRAP-Around Model for juvenile intervention.
2. Expand the use of neighborhood volunteers for addressing gaps in youth programs in targeted neighborhoods.
3. Create a Juvenile Crime Commission and Juvenile Crime Youth-Only Commission.

Do you support these proposals?

More info from GGW found here.

16 Comment

  • How about, make the juveniles’ parents criminally liable for anything their kids do.

  • In D.C. when a juvenile commits a crime, any crime, there are two options and two options only for judges and prosecutors: probation or committment to the Department of Youth Rehabilitative Services (DYRS).

    If an offender is committed to DYRS, it is DYRS who determines sentence. Not the judge, but DYRS. These are the folks who recently required a 16 year old who had committed murder to serve only about 18 months. That offender was then released at 18 and within weeks killed two other people.

    Obviously there is lots of work to be done, but one place to start is to overhaul DYRS and how youth offenders are sentenced.

  • 14th and Columbia,

    I know only one family of youthful offenders. In this family the father served time in prison for crack cocaine distribution and once he was out of the house, the kids did their worst drug dealing/drinking/harassment.

    I have learned through living in DC that a lot more criminals are raising criminal children than innocent parents raising criminal children. I initially thought that the parents of these kids would NOT want their kids to commit crimes- that was naive.

    Given that, how do you think the threat of prison time reflects on a parent who is either in prison or headed to prison?

  • This is the most important part:

    “2. Expand the use of neighborhood volunteers for addressing gaps in youth programs in targeted neighborhoods.”

  • I still see no attempt to resolve the problem. And that is the people that breed these animals. They can’t kill if they aren’t born or neglected once they are born.

  • Nice set of proposals. I support more disclosure, especially for violent offenders, and changes to sentencing. Juveniles who commit murder should be tried as adults. Groups of juveniles committing violent crimes together as a crew should face very stiff penalties.

    DC should also develop new types of programs to respond to the changing desires of children, to give them more options to pursue their dreams, whatever they may be. Since so many juveniles like carrying weapons, does the DC school system offer gun training and riflery range? How about developing a really cool hip hop recording studio and dance club in one of our vacant schools, that might keep some off the streets.

  • Vasectomey’s for repeat offenders anyone?

  • How about developing a really cool hip hop recording studio and dance club in one of our vacant schools, that might keep some off the streets.
    Why don’t you quit it? Lot of blacks play bball. So liberals instituted midnight bball. That didn’t work. Have n you seen how the rappers act in their music studios? They shoot, kill, and sell drugs. There was a killing of Busta Rhymes’ bodyguard at a studio or rap video. Noone, including him would even testify. One of the Run DMC rappers was killed at his studio. Tupac was robbed and shot at a studio. Nothing is sacred among some people.
    To suggest that a rap studio will quell the violence of the youth is truly an indictment on the parents and the black community as a whole. Just like midnight basketball was. By the way, my mom had me in bed at midnight when they were playing basketball. Not that I like basketball anyway.

  • The only way these problems are addressed is through responsible parenting. There are very few parents in this city. Community programs may save one or two, but the vast majority are doomed. Like the bunch of young black men I just saw on the metro. Where were they going at 11:00 am on a Wednesday? Just skipping school and riding the rails.

  • Good point about the rap industry and violence. I wonder if any jurisdiciton has ever considered suing the record labels for “conspiracy to incite youth violence”?

  • Make it easier to charge people under 18 as adults. 18 is an arbitrary age, more rooted in quaint historical notions than supported by cognitive science.

  • GoodPoint, chicken or the egg. Is rap music a symptom or the cause? I have a friend that went out with this seemingly professional teacher at a school in the city. On their first date he told her he sells drugs. Comes from a middle class background.

    In most cases, selling drugs in the black community has become disconnected from economic reality. Many make little to no money. Believe me, I know. It is a cool thing to do. Some women like the allure of the danger of dating drug dealers. This all fuels what we see on the street. As such, how do you solve a problem where the participants are not even acting rational?

  • Gotta start with the 6 and under crowd. They need constant supervision and reinforcement of a different culture than the one they’re getting. If the parents aren’t doing it, the rest of us have to. Or, if we choose not to, many of them will turn into the older kids and adults we all agree are now a problem.

  • As a white dad it is semi-inappropriate for me to comment on the culture of the African-American parents that I meet on a daily basis.

    In Philadelphia I saw a father whose son was in the hospital stomp his feet around where the toddler was walking in a very negative way. The boy jumped and jumped and eventually sat down crying. The dad stared at his son and said, “You gotta be tough, you don’t know when that [muffled] is going to be for you.” I am convinced he was imitating gunshots.

    I cannot possibly imagine what kind of idiot thinks that creating loud random noises for an 18 month old WHO WAS A PATIENT IN A HOSPITAL is going to raise a child who is mentally normal and able to concentrate in school.

    I tend to disagree that the issue is just one of neglect. I have seen parents who simply do not LOVE their children. I have seen parents who actively go out of their way to pick on, argue with, and harass their children. I know a parent on our block who told me that when someone talks about her son she raised him to stand up for himself- which is to say to any of us, if someone is gossiping she instructed her son to commit criminal assault.

    That’s a mental illness called Munchausen By Proxy.
    There is nothing inherently wrong in DC’s African American children’s community that is not traceable back to the behavior of the parents. I know plenty of these kids and see ones with parents who are either hippies or “Act white” (their words!) acting exactly like my kids. I see ones with parents who are certifiably insane, wrapped up in neighborhoods, crews and beefs who are mentally ill by age 5.

  • My neighbor keeps her grandchildren (ages somewhere between 5-10) some weekends. Usually she spends most of the time screaming at them at the top of her lungs while they cry for their mom, calling them fuckers and crack ho’s and all kinds of things. I have no idea what to do about it. I’m certain she doesn’t physically hurt them, but she’s clearly verbally abusing the hell out of them. Thankfully they only come one or two weekends a month.

  • MD and VA seem to have much less overall problems with juvenile offenders and have similar demographics. Can’t we just copy their rules? I know portions of PG County are as bad as DC, but surely we can say that they do better than we do on many issues. The thing I’ll never understand is why the law changes so drastically over the DC line, or why it is allowed to change so drastically, as those changes seem to have severe consequences for us.

    I’d forget about anything to do with parenting. Many of these kids are spawned but not raised.

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