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By Justin George and Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | December 11, 2013
The Baltimore Health Department suspended its Safe Streets anti-violence program in West Baltimore after a second outreach worker was arrested in less than two weeks. The heralded program, modeled after those in other cities and run by community groups with public funding overseen by the city Health Department, enlists former offenders to help negotiate disputes between gang members and drug dealers before they lead to gun violence. The criminal pasts of the ex-convicts are supposed to give them credibility when brokering the peace.
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NEWS
December 9, 2013
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was right last week to defend Baltimore's Safe Streets program as an effective tactic for reducing gun violence, despite the fact that one of the initiative's workers was arrested recently on federal drug and firearms charges. The fact that one bad apple turned up among the dozens of people employed in the effort doesn't invalidate the need for such programs or the valuable service they perform in troubled city neighborhoods. Safe Streets is a juvenile-violence reduction initiative in four city neighborhoods that employs street-wise community outreach workers to persuade adolescent boys and young men to choose nonviolent alternatives for settling disputes.
NEWS
By Jolene Ivey | December 9, 2013
Consider this scenario: A single mom's baby wakes up with a fever. She can either give him a dose of Tylenol, hoping it brings the baby's temperature down long enough to make it through her shift as a waitress, or stay home and miss a whole day's pay and not be able to afford rent or day care next week. She chooses the Tylenol, feeling guilty about it. Her son infects several other children at the day care, which sends him home. His mom has to miss work to care for him, then gets sick herself.
NEWS
December 5, 2013
The Baltimore Safe Streets program has taken another hit with the arrest of one of its mediators on federal drug and gun violations ( "Drug, gun suspect worked for Safe Streets program," Dec. 3). His job in the well-meaning but naive gun violence suppression program was to curtail gun violence by reaching out to the criminals in the targeted community and gain their trust. And why was this believed to be a workable solution to curtain gun violence? It was believed that because the mediator was one of them or used to be one of them, he could somehow get the gun thugs to change the way they operated in the community.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | December 4, 2013
The reputation that Nathan "Bodie" Barksdale gained as one of Baltimore's most notorious heroin dealers also made him a good outreach worker for Safe Streets, an innovative program that enlists former offenders to help mediate disputes before they erupt in gunfire. The fact that Barksdale had survived more than 20 gunshot wounds and once controlled lucrative drug territory in West Baltimore gave him credibility on the street. Then last week the supposedly reformed Barksdale was indicted again, accused of dealing drugs as a member of the Black Guerrilla Family gang.
NEWS
By Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun | December 2, 2013
The Baltimore man who claims to have inspired HBO's "The Wire" and was arrested on federal drug and gun charges last month had been a mediator for a program aimed at stamping out violence on the city's streets until recently. Nathan "Bodie" Barksdale worked for Safe Streets, a city Health Department program in which former criminals help rid the streets of the violent crime they once perpetuated, until being fired last month, the program's Mondawmin site director Delaino Johnson said.
NEWS
By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun | October 16, 2013
On the 11th anniversary of the fatal firebombing of a family in East Baltimore, a candidate for the Baltimore State's Attorney's Office announced he wanted to expand on the success of a safe house built on the charred ruin of the home. Russell A. Neverdon Sr., a defense attorney hoping to unseat Gregg L. Bernstein, said Wednesday that creating new safe houses modeled upon the Dawson Family Safe Haven center fits his approach of pairing prosecution with "holistic" approaches to criminal justice.
NEWS
Editorial from The Aegis | October 1, 2013
Among the many laws that went into effect Tuesday was one making more strict a prohibition against the use of hand held cell phones by people who are driving. Though texting while driving and using a hand held cell phone while driving already had been declared illegal, under the law that went into effect Tuesday, police no longer have to have another reason to pull over a driver. The law is especially poignant for the Hurd family, of Abingdon. Heather Hurd was killed in 2009 in Florida by a truck driven by someone who was distracted while texting.
NEWS
By Lenny Siegel | September 25, 2013
Globally, chemical weapons demilitarization has been difficult, slow and costly, but with technologies that have been developed over the past two decades, the safe destruction of Syria's chemical weapons stockpile is feasible. While the diplomats work out the principles for sequestering and eliminating Syrian chemical warfare materiel, our government and others should be developing a strategy for safe, secure demilitarization. That work must begin now, not only because it will take time, but also because it is likely to raise issues that the diplomats will need to resolve.
NEWS
September 19, 2013
I support Councilman Brandon Scott in his efforts to enforce curfews (" City officials consider earlier youth curfew," Sept. 9). I am the parent of a teenager, and my son seldom arrives home before curfew, claiming that it's "boring" in the house. But I would rather a police officer bring him home safely than have the homicide detectives come notify me that my child has been murdered. On Aug. 2 of this year I awoke at 6 a.m. to the sound of my doorbell. Two homicide detectives were standing there to advise me that my 21-year-old son, Jamal Godsey, had been found murdered.
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