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So many teens caught up in crime: What are the alternatives for Milwaukee’s inner-city youth?

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee police make more arrests in the city's ongoing string of violence involving young people. A 17-year-old and a 12-year-old have been taken into custody -- accused of attacking and robbing an adult. It happened late Sunday, September 14th near 13th and Dakota. The 33-year-old victim recognized one of his attackers, and told police where to find them. Since the beginning of September, more than a dozen kids have been arrested for their role in robberies throughout the city. It's something that's frustrating for those who work to keep these young people out of trouble.

Inside a nondescript building off of Fond du Lac Avenue is an opportunity for inner-city adolescents to step into a different world -- one where they can learn, and then let loose.

"They`re gonna see the day-to-day negativity that happens in their life and sometimes at home, but what`s the alternative? And that`s what we try to provide - that different programming or those different opportunities," Running Rebels Executive Assistant Michael Peeples said.

Running Rebels is one of several organizations offering an escape for teens in the city's roughest neighborhoods. Those organizations have been challenged this month by a rash of crime, committed by teenagers.

Milwaukee police say since September 1st, they've arrested 14 juveniles who are part of several different crews responsible for at least 56 robberies.

"The purpose of our program is to focus on them before they cross over," Jamie Ferguson with the Westcare Foundation said.

Ferguson and the Westcare Foundation run the "Face Forward" program. It is open to teens who have been convicted of a juvenile offense.

Ferguson says in many cases, just having a positive role model can make all the difference for someone.

"As implausible as it might be for a lot of people to believe that, that`s certainly what the case is. There are blocks and blocks and neighborhoods of people, young people, who don`t have access to positive presences in their lives," Ferguson said.

Peeples says that's exactly what the staff at Running Rebels is aiming for.

"The best thing to do is continue to live that example out and have that opportunity for young people to be able to see adults making the right decisions," Peeples said.

Police say as they continue to investigate, those they have arrested could end up being responsible for more than 100 robberies.

The "Face Forward" program is only open to those convicted of a juvenile offense. Anyone who has been convicted as an adult sin't eligible.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Running Rebels.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Face Forward.

26 comments

  • Tonya

    We should really stop acting like there are limited optiins for youth these days. These kids have plenty of opportunities when it comes to education, extracurricular activities, nonprofit programming. Seriously…these behaviors are a choice, not a reacrion to lack of alternatives. If anything, we should be focusing on the adults who legitimize these behaviors, who justify and minimize the negative actions.

  • Semper Fidelis, USMC

    It all begins by LOCKING up kids that refuse to go to school, it begins when the liberal judges actually sentence thugs to REAL jail time, it all begins when you pull up you’re pants and become a man, get a job, learn to read, talk, respect others, not steal, not hate, stop selling drugs and the list goes on. Tom Barrett and the fine leadership of Milwaukee will NOT fix this, it’s already a broke KILWAUKEE.

  • Shirley

    How are these organizations and the PD working with businesses like Rapcine, which are hubs for some of this negative youth culture?

  • diane

    there are plenty of opportunities, but good old fashioned parent involvement..these kids should have contests on who can get the best grades in school…wouldnt that be a idea to spread throughout the inner city…

    • Petey

      WOW, that’s kind of an ignorant statement. How do you know that some of us don’t bring our dog to buy dope? I DO deal with inner city folk and to me most are taken in by materialism and self and the ones that are raised properly are later in life taken in by peer pressure. The mentality in the hood is Satan’s trap and a hard one to resist. It’s so easy to do the wrong thing. It’s the natural path of human behaviour but to do the right thing, to do good for others, that’s hard. And when one isn’t raised properly it’s like a death sentence.

  • Neal

    I am in for free supper to go along with free breakfast and free lunch, more workers working on what is not working , can we hand out doctor drea head phones after lunch nigqqas need music to bust caps by

  • Petey

    Look at all the comments and just guess what they all have in common…PROPER PARENTING!
    Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

  • diane

    thanks petey responsibility and accountability…don’t have kids if you can’t afford them raise them and be accountable for them…

  • Jim Turner

    A chain gang with orange jump suits ankle chains armed guards if you are going to act like a criminal you should be treated like one And work farms up at 5 work until 7 pm cut down on taxes proper sentences not just a day pass and home why be honest when there is no penalty for being honest

  • Bill Watts

    The problem is teenage pregnancy, 17 year old’s who don’t even have their own life together yet. Then we reward them with SSI checks after they have kids. The sad part is it’s mom coaching them to do this.

  • Verdant

    Standards. Hold all youth and parents to the same standards regardless of race, income, or zip code. When those standards are violated, serve justice swiftly and sternly. It’s pretty simple.

    However, we all know this won’t happen. It will require far too much self reflection and cultural change in the “inner city” here in the New Detroit to be possible.

  • soulobigdaddy

    racist moderators at it again..I think fox six is ran by the k K k..white racist commentors can say whatever they want, but the minute someone disagrees with their racists comments they get moderated… WhIte PoWeR

Comments are closed.

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