As Indianapolis public safety officials look for ways to stem violent crime, topics such as emphasizing community policing and hiring more officers have emerged as a front-line approach. The Indianapolis Star says solutions also require a deeper look and understanding of the social issues that cause violent crime. One factor is the plight of single mothers. Often behind the volatile mix of the drug trade, illegal guns and violence are young men from fatherless households. This year city officials began reaching out to young single mothers as part of a broad effort to reduce crime.
Says the newspaper: “The vulnerable ones, experts say, are women who are born into poverty and become mothers at a young age. In many cases, they may work multiple jobs to pay the bills, but while they put in the long hours, their sons are left unsupervised. Left to themselves, they turn to life on the streets. Gang members become role models. Violence is conflict resolution. A paycheck is earned through crime.” Public Safety Director Troy Riggs said the single mothers whom officials have reached out to all tell a very similar story. “All of them said they work hard, they try their best,” Riggs said. “They lost their child when they got into teenage years.”