Re: Stop killing our children
Wed, 17 Jun 1998 17:27:11 -0700

Pfleming wrote:

> .... I was Deputy Press
> Secretary for the City of Boston. The key thing I think was that the Mayor
> the Police Commissioner really believe in and respect kids. There was a top
> down sense that kids should be respected, appreciated and held accountable for
> their behavior.

The following is from a Washington Post article in October, 1997:

[Cassius] Love was killed on July 10, 1995. Since that day, not one
juvenile has been shot to death in Boston and only one teenager
has been murdered -- a stabbing death this month. By comparison,
70 juveniles have been murdered in the District of Columbia in
that time period, 24 have been murdered in Richmond and 69 have
been killed in Baltimore.

In the past two years and three months, Boston has devised a
highly effective way to keep juveniles from killing each other.

Boston demands that police and district attorneys act, at times,
like worried parents. Working with teachers, they search out
youngsters who skip school or whose grades have nose-dived. They
provide them with counseling, mentoring, after-school jobs or send
social workers to their homes. Boston serves up more than 10,000
jobs a year for teenagers, many of them provided by local
businesses. The city opens school gymnasiums late at night and
encourages boys clubs and churches to do the same. It pays young
ex-offenders to hang out with troubled teenagers and persuade them
not to settle scores with firearms.

To those who reject an outstretched hand, the city delivers a
clenched fist. Periodically, scores of police invade
gang-troubled neighborhoods to question any teenager who so much
as looks furtive. Anyone found illegally with a gun goes to jail
for a year. Anyone who sells drugs near a school goes to jail
for two years. Police officers go out with probation officers at
night to make sure that youngsters on probation are home in bed.
Whenever a teenager is involved in gang violence, police the next
day blanket his or her school to prevent revenge attacks.
Federal attorneys are invited to prosecute violent gang members
under racketeering laws. When particularly harsh sentences are
handed down, police print up fliers and advertise in gang

Police and school officials in Boston agree that there are no
more than a few hundred chronically violent juveniles in the city
and that taking many of them off the streets and out of public
schools has profoundly changed many neighborhoods.

new message to this message