Some existing programs can keep teenagers out of gangs and significantly reduce youth homicides, says Fight Crime: Invest in Kids. In a report cited earlier this week in Crime & Justice News, the non-profit organization says the White House wants to cut funding for the programs by 40 percent in the next fiscal year on top of a 44 percent reduction in anti-gang and delinquency funding this year. Street gangs are “migrating from Chicago and Los Angeles, and coming soon to a town near you, I can promise you,” said Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton. “The federal government is literally feeling the war on crime has been won and is putting their resources elsewhere. The war on crime has not been won. We need programs that the federal government is preparing to cut funding for.”
Chad Kolton of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget said the federal government is redirecting funding to another more effective program and is proposing a new program, with $53 million in additions to partially offset $127 million in cuts. The net reduction in antigang funding was the result of shifting funds to counterterrorism. The programs cited by the group focus funding youth mentors, parent counselors, more active probation supervision, and job opportunities. The programs can start as early as pre-kindergarten, said Sanford A. Newman, president of Fight Crime. Among the biggest programs slated for cuts are Title V local delinquency prevention grants, from $79 million to $37 million, and Juvenile Accountability Block Grants, reduced from $60 million to zero. Philadelphia used juvenile accountability grants to reduce youth slayings in two of its most violent districts.