For Immediate Release
April 04, 2011
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
Today, at the request of President Obama’s administration and the Department of Justice, Mayor Thomas M. Menino presented the City of Boston’s Youth Violence Prevention Plan at the Summit on Preventing Youth Violence in Washington D.C. The plan stresses the need for wide-spread community collaboration to strengthen neighborhoods and to produce timely interventions for families in danger.
Participating at the Summit were U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin as well as other mayors and officials from around the country including Chicago, Memphis, Detroit and San Jose.
Some of the longstanding challenges the mayor’s plan works to address include:
- information sharing and communication between systems and neighborhoods;
- gaps in programming, services and coverage in some areas like employment, education, family, and mental health and trauma;
- and the availability and use of firearms which is being addressed by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition that Mayor Menino co-founded.
“Knowing is half the battle, but it’s only half the battle. We have to take the information and use it to help people. Once we identify the need, we must have an opportunity for young people and families to link up with a chance that’s going to help turn around their lives,” Mayor Menino said in his remarks. “That’s why we need to create new ways of collaborating with private and nonprofits to provide new opportunities for young people that put them on the right track and help strengthen neighborhoods. In these tough budget times, nobody can do it alone and nobody should. We all have to be behind one agenda: helping our young people reach their full potential.”
Joined by Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis and the Director of the Boston Public Health Commission, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Mayor Menino stressed that the key to violence prevention is strengthening neighborhoods by building strong foundations of collaboration among government agencies, community based organizations and residents. Strong neighborhoods provide timely interventions through programs offering support to residents of all ages and roles at crucial times in their lives.
To help achieve the goals laid out in the Youth Violence Prevention Plan, a certain number of action steps and enhancements have been set:
- the earlier identification of impact players within families;
- the earlier identification of at-risk youth;
- an increased number of jobs for youth no matter their criminal histories;
- a greater connectivity between the corrections system, courts, schools and social service providers
- and a formalized set of information sharing protocols.