The Washington Times reports that more violence in metropolitan Washington has been linked to juveniles committed to the D.C. Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services. The victims include a man riding his bicycle home from work at a waterfront restaurant, a school principal fatally shot in his bedroom in a Maryland suburb, and a professor killed in her Maryland home. The Times report was a followup to a series that found that one in five of all homicides in the District from Sept. 1, 2009, through Aug. 31 involved a youth in custody of the agency either as a suspect or a victim.
Since then, at least 10 people age 22 or younger who were arrested for homicides in the city were either actively committed to the District’s custody or their commitment had recently expired. Four more were victims of homicides. Despite acknowledgment by the interim director of the agency, the city’s police chief and the mayor-elect that the deadly trend of youth-involved killings must be addressed, officials are hard-pressed to assure the public that they know how to put a stop to it–or where the trend will lead.