August 17, 2010
With regard to The Baltimore Sun editorial "Deterring youth crime" (Aug. 16), the best way to improve the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center is to keep kids out of it. And the best way to do that is to partner with community-based organizations to provide interventions that we know work. No one knows these kids better than the families and communities they come from—and no one has more incentive to see them succeed. We are setting up these kids, and the Department of Juvenile Services, to fail when we expect a centralized state agency to provide individualized solutions without engaging local partners.
August 16, 2010
It's certainly welcome news that conditions in the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center have improved enough to persuade the U.S. Department of Justice to lift federal oversight of the youth lockup it has held under scrutiny since 2007. But just because the facility has been found to be "in substantial compliance" with minimum federal standards doesn't mean officials there won't continue to face huge challenges dealing with the city's most troubled youths. The center, which opened in 2003, was originally intended to house up to 144 youths, most of whom were either awaiting trial in the juvenile court system or long-term placement in a rehabilitation program.
April 23, 2010
Having lived in Baltimore City for 8 years, I do not know one City resident who has not been impacted, directly or indirectly, by violent crime. Where do the judges who casually release known violent offenders onto City streets live? Have they not experienced violent crime in the way the rest of us have? Where do the prosecutors who negotiate these incredibly generous and lenient plea bargains live? Do they know anyone who has suffered the consequences of their deals? Rather than marching on the neighborhood streets where these killings occur, perhaps we should process past the homes of our prosecutors and judges with caskets carrying the bodies of the victims they failed to protect.
June 9, 2009
The replacement late last week of the two top police commanders in the city's Central District, which covers the Inner Harbor and downtown area, is an encouraging sign that Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III is taking his department's problems seriously. A recent rash of intimidating behavior and assaults involving roving groups of unsupervised teenagers had raised troubling questions about the department's ability to keep a lid on things, especially after police assurances that more officers would be patrolling the streets failed to stop several well-publicized incidents of violence.
September 20, 2008
The investment a business makes in a community can't be reckoned only in terms of bricks and mortar. It also has to include a desire to improve the quality of goods and services for customers and create a safe environment for employees. That kind of commitment ultimately benefits people far beyond its immediate neighborhood. The $300,000 gift big-box retailer Target made this week to the Baltimore Police Department to beef up crime-fighting efforts around its new store at Mondawmin Mall in West Baltimore is an example of that kind of commitment.
September 30, 2007
PHILADELPHIA -- The men on the corner of 16th and Page in North Philadelphia say they know what their neighborhood needs to stem the violence that has killed 306 people citywide so far this year, and that does not include putting 10,000 men on the street, as some black community leaders have proposed. Amid the weed-strewn lots and boarded-up buildings of North Philadelphia, one of the city's toughest neighborhoods, the six men who gathered to talk, drink and play cards say the young people who pull guns and deal drugs need jobs, recreation centers, after-school programs and, most of all, parents who care for them.