Nashville uses new strategies to combat youth violence
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) –
On Monday, police said four teens carjacked and shot a man outside a shopping center in Green Hills and investigators believe at least one teen was involved in Wednesday morning’s North Nashville shooting.
"We’re certainly concerned. I mean one time is too many and I think we, as a community, really have to be more strategic about how we address youth violence," said Lonnell Matthews, Nashville’s Juvenile Court Clerk.
Matthews is also Mayor David Briley’s youth and public safety adviser.
He said this summer they’re relaunching a youth sports league Metro used to have back in the 1990s.
"Six hundred young people having the opportunity to come out and just get involved in something positive," said Matthews.
They’re also starting a program in July where teenage offenders meet with their victims who then work together to make things right.
"We’re trying to reduce recidivism. At the end of the day, we don’t want the kid coming back to court," said Matthews.
For the first time ever, Briley is putting money in the budget to help grassroots non-profits that already have relationships with troubled youth.
"The current system is not working. Recidivism continues to go up in the traditional system and if we keep on depending relying on just that system without looking at new and innovative ways to engage those young people, then were never going to turn that trend," said Matthews.
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