Friday, August 11, 2006

Mayor Rybak Opines On Juvenile Crime

The Minneapolis Downtown Journal has published an article on the juvenile crime problem in Minneapolis here. The interview also includes a (very) brief interview with Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak which reveals his fuzzy thinking, misplaced priorities, complete misunderstanding of the nature of the crime problem (see the previous post for a link to real crime solutions):

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak

DTJ: What is the reason for increased juvenile crime in Minneapolis?

Rybak: “The factors fueling juvenile crime are complex and not necessarily unique to Minneapolis. Cities across the nation are facing this problem. We face an unacceptable proliferation of guns in our community, which land into the hands of younger and younger kids. We face gangs being funded in large part by marijuana sales. More broadly, we face an overwhelming sense of hopelessness among too many youth who do not see a positive future for themselves. Unfortunately, at the same time all this is happening, we have a state and federal government abdicating their responsibility in this area with damaging budget cuts.”

DTJ: What needs to be done to reverse the recent crime trend?

Rybak: “We need a combination of tough enforcement for those committing crime and efforts to prevent crime. We are putting more cops on the street and increasing police presence and visibility. We have created a juvenile crime unit to arrest juvenile offenders and connect them to needed social services that prevent repeat offenses. But we cannot arrest the problem of crime away. As a community, we need to take responsibility for our youth, hold them accountable, and give them a sense of hope. All of us need to take a deeper personal responsibility for changing this culture of violence and hopelessness.”
The article also includes brief interviews with Interim Chief Dolan, a judge, and a probation official. These are worth looking at, because these are the folks who represent the "system", and have a direct impact on outcomes.

[Photo courtesy Downtown Journal]