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Milwaukee city, county officials partner up to crack down on juvenile recidivism

Program hopes to crack down on juvenile recidivism
Posted: 9:02 PM, May 11, 2017
Updated: 2017-05-11 22:02:58-04
A new tag team effort hopes to lower the rate of recidivism in youth. 
 
City and county officials say they are partnering up to lower the rates of youth recommitting crime by sharing statistics and more monitoring.
 
In a recent report by the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission, car chases in 2016 were the highest they've been since 2002. However, the most surprising statistic is the people they're chasing. The median age of subjects was just 18 years old. Compare that to 2003, the year they first started tracking the statistics, and the median age was 40 years old. So the officials know something has to change.
 
"The key here isn't tough on crime," County Executive Chris Abele said. "The key is smart."
Under the new partnership, police will be called to the real time location of a youth offender if they go outside of their designated boundary. The hope is to catch them before they commit a crime and take them back to their home to avoid falling back into the criminal cycle. However, if the person is caught committing a crime, it will have consequences.
 
"If a young person perceives there are no consequences and there aren't consequences, that's a problem," Mayor Tom Barrett said. "It's not, lock them up for 30 years and throw away the key but speaking as a parent, there has to be consequences to actions."
 
A big problem is recidivism or youth recommitting crimes. Abele says 75 percent of students at the Lincoln Hills Correctional School fall back into criminal activity. So they're hoping this program will help keep them out of jail and, in turn, make the community safer. 
 
"We all agree we want the safest community possible," Abele said. "We all agree we do a better job getting to the safest community when we work together. The more data we share, the more terms and definition we define the same way, the better the public are going to be served."
 
"If we're successful doing that," Barrett said. "We believe we'll deter future behavior."
 
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