Friday, July 01, 2005

An Urgent Call to Action

As we celebrate freedom this weekend and honor the men and women fighting overseas, I hope we'll also honor those who are fighting poverty and terror in America's inner-city neighborhoods.

Below I've posted the first two paragraphs from a call to action article on the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention web site. They state this call to action better than I can.

I hope that after you read this you'll use the links at the left as a path to your own growing involvement in this war on terrorism.
This Nation must take immediate and decisive action to intervene in the problem of juvenile violence that threatens the safety and security of communities -- and the future of our children -- across the country. Demographic experts predict that juvenile arrests for violent crimes will more than double by the year 2010,1 given population growth projections and trends in juvenile arrests over the past several decades.

There is, however, reason for hope. Juvenile violent crime arrests are increasing, but only a fraction of youth (one-half of 1 percent) is arrested for violent crimes each year. We can interrupt this escalation of violence based on identified positive and negative characteristics -- protective and risk factors -- that are present or lacking in communities, families, schools, peer groups, and individuals. These factors either equip a child with the capacity to become a healthy, productive individual or expose that child to potential involvement in crime and violence. Of equal importance, communities are learning that they can make dramatic changes in delinquency levels by taking steps that successfully reduce the risk factors and strengthen the protective factors in children's lives.

Read the rest of this appeal at

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