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Combating Youth Violence: How a New Houston Program Aims to Lower Juvenile Violence in Its Community


Across Texas and the rest of the nation, youth violence is an issue that continues to affect communities small and large. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, on average, 13 people between the ages of 10 and 24 are murdered each day in the United States. In many cases, youth violence stems from behavioral issues such as gang affiliation, physical altercations, bullying, and now social media harassment.

One of the most recent extreme examples of social media behavior resulting in youth violence took place in Wilmington, Delaware in May of 2016. Brandon Wingo, a 15-year-old high school freshman, was shot after being targeted for a Facebook post in which Wingo "disrespected" a deceased member of a rivalry community gang.

In an effort to fight these very real and horrendous stories that make our headlines almost every day, one Houston community is working to provide what it believes are missing resources for the youth.

How the New Program Aims to Tackle Youth Violence

Houston Peace, an organization that includes the collaboration between the Houston Police Department, the Health Department and Complete Community, as well as other local community organizations, are teaming up to tackle youth violence from a real community perspective. Their main goal: prevent youth violence and promote youth health and youth opportunities. Houston Peace views aggressive behavior as an issue that stems from diminished economic opportunities, poor family structure, and a general lack of opportunities for these families.

This summer, the program will introduce 10,000 youth summer jobs with hopes of giving the youth an opportunity to earn money and keep them away from violence. As Karlton Harris from the Houston Health Department described, "We want to level the playing field so our youth are able to have opportunities in their communities, so they do not get involved in gang and drug activity."

Texas' Juvenile Crime Rates

The juvenile justice system in Texas defines a juvenile as someone between the ages of 10 and 16 who commits an offense. Crimes include truancy, the accusation of running away, a class C misdemeanor or a class A or B misdemeanor, as well as other types of felonies. The number of juvenile crimes in Texas according to 2016 data was 49,957. These included murder (total: 28), aggravated assault (total: 1,602), drug violations (total: 6,157), runaway (total: runaway), among others, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Protecting the Youth With Fair Representation

The El Paso community, unfortunately, isn't exempt from youth violence and crime. Our efforts as a criminal law firm are to protect your son or daughter from unfair sentencing and to see that your family receives the legal assistance needed to resolve the situation, no matter how complicated the case may be.

Contact the Rosales Law Firm today. 

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