Minneapolis’ blueprint to prevent youth violence has been successful so far, says the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Mayor R.T. Rybak cited recruiting 25 city employees as mentors for youth, and expanding summer hours and programming at parks where crime is a problem. There were 1,074 home visits by nurses to help pregnant teens and young parents remain in school, and other programs.
Two years ago, people 10 to 24 years old were responsible for nearly half the violent crime in Minneapolis. This year, it’s decreased to 25 percent. But the nine youth murdered in 2008 is one more than the previous year. The city’s strategy to attack juvenile crime as a public health issue is getting national attention. The U.S. Conference of Mayors and National League of Cities will incorporate the plan into its national crime agendas. Rybak orchestrated the effort more than two years ago, when juveniles were the reason for a soaring increase in the city’s violent crime. He has earmarked nearly $8 million in his 2009 budget for the plan, a significant bump from last year.