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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Sunday, July 9, 2006

Boston Debates on How to Stop Increasing Youth Violence

From boston.com: With the dramatic rise in shootings in Boston in recent years, the percentage of victims who are teenagers has skyrocketed, according to new statistics. In the first four months of 2006, 45 percent of non fatal gunshot wound victims were under the age of 20 compared with 35 percent last year, 34 percent in 2004, and 20 percent in 2003, figures from the state Department of Public Health show.

As Boston officials rush to fund programs, hoping to stop bloodshed in a summer that many fear will be the most violent in years, community leaders, police, and others involved in crime prevention are arguing about how the bulk of the money should be spent. Some say more of it should go toward youth programs that could steer young people away from lives of crime, while others say programs aimed directly at known offenders should be emphasized.

Most agree that both approaches have advantages and drawbacks. Funding for prevention programs aimed at youth ``reduces crime in the long run, and that's a goal people everywhere share; however, it doesn't do much to prevent crime in the short run," said Richard Rosenfeld, a professor of criminology at the University of Missouri at St. Louis. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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