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Wells Releases Ward 6 Juvenile Crime Task Force Recommendations PDF Print E-mail
Written by Charles Allen   
Tuesday, 03 March 2009

Councilmember Wells Releases Ward 6 Juvenile Crime Task Force Recommendations

On Tuesday, March 3rd, Councilmember Tommy Wells announced the release of draft recommendations from the Ward 6 Juvenile Crime Task Force.

“Overall, crime in the city and Ward 6 is decreasing. But crimes committed by juveniles remain a significant problem and in some neighborhoods, we see juvenile crimes growing in their intensity and violence,” stated Wells. He added, “I asked the task force to work with me to develop a strategic approach to needed reforms. Our meetings and research developed into a set of concrete recommendations to decrease juvenile crime in the Ward.”

The task force focused on four key areas: increasing public transparency and government accountability, increasing meaningful juvenile offender accountability, addressing school truancy, and expanding innovations to prevent juvenile crime. The specific recommendations include:

• Reform the District’s confidentiality laws so that agencies and related service providers can share information about juveniles who commit crimes, and mandate the creation of an interagency database and assessment tool for tracking at-risk youth.
• Make juvenile violent crime data available to the community in a format that helps residents understand the full dimensions of juvenile crime.
• Streamline and strengthen the government’s ability to revoke the right for a youth committed to DYRS to stay in a community placement.
• Increase compliance with mandated community service for juvenile offenders.
• Amend DC law to require families with children 13 years or younger that miss 10 days of school without an excuse be referred to Child Protective Services (CFSA) for investigation and assessment.
• Expand the city’s WRAP-Around Model for at-risk juvenile intervention.
• Expand the use of neighborhood volunteers for addressing gaps in youth programs in targeted neighborhoods.
• Create a Juvenile Crime Commission and Juvenile Crime Youth-Only Commission.

Wells stated, “I know that some recommendations will create a healthy debate about the balance between the need to protect a youth’s confidentiality and a community’s need for transparency from the government. Our current confidentiality laws, while intended to protect youths, at times end up creating barriers that isolate at-risk youth and their families from support and intervention, and leave agencies unable to share information until its too late.”

Councilmember Wells will hold a series of community meetings to review the recommendations before introducing legislation to implement the changes. Full details of the recommendations, including data, research and neighborhood suggestions reviewed by the task force, are available at http://www.TommyWells.org.

The Ward 6 Juvenile Crime Task Force was formed by Councilmember Wells in November 2008 and met during December, January and February with the goal to create a set of recommendations targeted to reduce juvenile crime in Ward 6 neighborhoods. The Task Force was comprised of Ward 6 ANC leaders, non-profit community-based providers, and many District agency representatives.


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 03 March 2009 )
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