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New NLC report explores new solutions to juvenile crime.

A new report from the National League of Cities, "Juvenile Crime Prevention: Curfews and Youth Services," highlights efforts underway around the country to prevent the adverse effects of juvenile crime. The monograph is the most recent in NLC's Issues & Options subscription series.

The involvement of youth in crime--as victims, as perpetrators, as friends and neighbors who live in fear of what might happen--takes a serious toll on the nation's cities and towns. The NLC report looks at two promising solutions to the juvenile crime problem: youth services programs and juvenile curfews.

Youth Services Initiatives

The author of one section of the report, Blair Forlaw, director of Youth and Community Initiatives for the East-West Gateway Coordination Council in St. Louis, Missouri, discusses the various ways crime affects youth and points to two exciting trends working to address the juvenile crime problem.

The first trend is the multiplicity of players who are finding unique ways to make a difference. The coordinated and up-from leadership of the mayor, the superintendent of parks, the director of human services, the city manager, the chief fiscal officer, the board of aldermen, the youth commission, the chief of planning and zoning, the health commissioner, and others is the key to successful crime prevention.

The second trend involves expanding community service opportunities for young people. Service programs provide on-the-job training for good citizenship and allow youth to use their energy and creativity in a constructive, rather than destructive, fashion. More than 50 active, local youth intervention programs are highlighted with names and telephone numbers of contacts to reach for more information. These programs provide services such as recreation, counseling, training, and job placement.

Youth Curfews

In addition to, or instead of, service programs some local governments have opted to enact curfews in an effort to reduce juvenile crime. The NLC report provides an overview of the juvenile curfew option written by Mark Hessel, an attorney with an extensive academic and professional background in municipal law.

In his section, "Drafting a Juvenile Curfew Ordinance to Withstand Constitutional Challenges," Hessel reviews recent case law on juvenile curfew ordinances and discusses how recent developments in litigation have affected curfew effectiveness. The chapter provides details on 15 specific provisions that Hessel believes should be included in any juvenile curfew ordinance and provides a bibliography of cases, articles, and notes that directly address the legality of juvenile curfew ordinances.

"Juvenile Crime Prevention" is the fifth of ten Issues & Options reports to be issued in 1993. Previous monographs dealt with geographic information systems, local government employee telecommuting, ethics ordinances and practices, and interlocal revenue sharing. Issues & Options provides timely and objective information on a key issues confronting local governments in a concise, easy-to-read format.

Annual subscriptions to Issues & Options are available at rates of $149 for NLC members and $198 for all others. Subscribers automatically receive all back issues for the calendar year.

To receive a brochure describing Issues & Options or more information about topics planned for the remainder of 1993, call (202) 626-3181.
COPYRIGHT 1993 National League of Cities
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:National League of Cities
Author:James, Elizabeth Powell
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Jun 28, 1993
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