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Forum on youth criminal justice in Southeast Baltimore

Posted at 10:37 PM, Dec 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-17 23:19:27-05

BALTIMORE — People in Southeast Baltimore are sick of feeling uneasy and frankly scared when they walk out their front door.

The fear manifests because of violent carjackings, home break ins— many of the crimes committed by young people targeting women and the elderly.

On Tuesday night the Patterson Park Neighborhood Association held a public forum on Baltimore Juvenile Justice Reform. Ann-Louise Novak came out to the neighbor because her neighbor was attacked during a car jacking around Thanksgiving.

“It’s just getting too close to home. Too many robberies, I’m not happy with that,” said Novak. “The youth are getting away with too many people getting hurt.”

Arch McKown is well known in the area for using doorbell cameras and social media to keep people connected and informed about crime.

“My experience is these kids stack 8,9,10 charges and then it’s like we’ve got to do something,” said McKown. “We’ve got to address this kid what services does he or she need, and that’s too far down the line.”

The men and women on the panel represent all different aspects of the juvenile justice system. Lawmakers, professors, members of groups like ROCA that intervene when young people are going down the wrong path.

“The folks up here were listening to us and hearing our concerns,” McKown said. “We can talk about statistics and the system and the nuts and bolts of things, and then people are saying yes but somebody was just robbed earlier today.”

One of the panel members was Tray Smith, a young man sick of a few people are giving young people in the city.

“We need more resources, we need the mayor to fund more after school programs for them,” Smith said. “Get more jobs, youth works needs to be all year around.”

Councilman Zeke Cohen who represents the district the meeting was held in was also on the panel.

He talked about a couple things he is working on including creating a violence victim bull of rights— explaining what they are entitled to when they are a victim.And the trauma responsive care act he’s working to get passed.