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Roca study show violent crime involving young adults is down in Baltimore

Posted at 6:10 PM, Mar 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-03 18:11:49-05

BALTIMORE — The local nonprofit Roca is speaking out about crime and according to new statistics they released, violent crime involving young adults has decreased in the city.

Roca is a part of the city’s Community Violence Intervention Ecosystem or CVI. Organizers like the executive director Kurtis Palermo are encouraging people to have faith in what the city is doing with CVI because the numbers show so far, it’s working.

“I think the young people in Baltimore, who are a part of Roca or may engage with Roca in the future need to know that they matter, they're worth it,” Palermo said.

It’s the message that Roca organizers like Palermo use to help change the circumstances for troubled youth.

“Without any judgment, and just know that we'll support them through whatever it is that they're going through so that they can get to whatever that outcome is that they want for themselves,” Palermo said.

For the past four years, Roca has been working throughout the city with at risk youth ages 16-24 helping to change their trajectory.

RELATED: Report: Homicides among people under 25 dropped 7% under Roca Baltimore

New findings from that four year period show there has been a 16% drop in arrests, 7% decrease in homicides and a 3% reduction in non-fatal shootings in that age group.

“Three of the most important takeaways are one, that Roca is 83% less expensive than four years of incarceration. Two is through our after shooting protocol, where we are engaging those non-fatal shooting victims we are seeing a cost savings for the medical system in the city. Three is that from that initial four year investment, there is about a 10% return on investment,” Palermo said.

He said because of the consistent work from Roca and other nonprofit organizations throughout the city who are also part of the CVI ecosystem, they’ve been able to share this success.

It’s why they’re encouraging neighbors in Baltimore to be more receptive about the changes being made in the city as it relates to CVI that positively impacts the future and ultimately minimizes crime.

“Finally investing in a space that for so long wasn't thought of as the worth investing in. I think that, right now we're at a pivotal point for CVI, because it is getting so much mainstream, mainstream exposure. And, our data that we have just really shows you that there is a different way to approach this. There is a positive outcome that can happen and nothing's perfect. But, you know, something like a Roca, or a similar program or approach can yield not only positive results, but you know, financial savings and young people who stay safe alive and out of jail,” Palermo said.