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Looking Forward: Youth Perspectives on Reducing Crime in Brownsville and Beyond

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2011
61 pages
Beginning in August 2010, members of the Youth Justice Board began a study focused on ways to reduce youth crime in New York City, using the neighborhood of Brownsville in Brooklyn as basis for their work.
Data for this report were obtained during a 5-month period when members of the Board interviewed over 30 people involved in the city justice system and the Brownsville community, visited 4 community justice centers, and conducted 3 focus groups with youth involved in the justice system. The intent of the study was to learn about the experiences and perspectives of the youth involved with the justice system in order to develop recommendations for reducing youth crime in the community. Based on the data obtained from the interviews, the Youth Justice Board developed the following set of 10 recommendations for reducing youth crime: 1) provide educational resources and supports for youths moving through middle school and into high school; 2) provide alternative education, job-readiness, and mentoring services to youths; 3) ensure that health, mental health, and social service resources are available at appropriate levels; 4) provide programming for parents and families to help prevent foster care placement; 5) foster community relationships and promote opportunities through events, media, and social networking; 6) increase options for recreation to promote relationship building; 7) engage youths from Brownsville in the development of the Brownsville Community Justice Center; 8) provide programming designed to transform negative peer pressure into positive peer support; 9) encourage better communication and stronger relationships between police and youths; and 10) establish coordination between the Brownsville Community Justice Center and the Crossroads Detention Center to better support youths involved in the justice system. These recommendations were developed by the Board to act as a starting point for discussion on ways to reduce youth crime in New York City and its surrounding neighborhoods. Appendixes and references