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Gov. unveils youth initiative to curb street violence

Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil | 5/18/2011, 12:06 a.m.
Gov. Deval Patrick unveils his plan to curb youth violence throughout Massachusetts. In the last 20 years, the homicide rate has doubled in Boston and as a result Patrick says he will file legislation for tougher gun laws. Gov. Deval Patrick’s Office

 In addition, the initiative will encourage Massachusetts adult correctional facilities to continue their community re-entry work, which includes finding housing, employment or education and a life plan by the time of discharge; and will support community-wide prevention strategies aimed at restoring peace, which includes opportunities for youth leadership development and conflict resolution training.

“Gun violence has had a devastating effect on families all across Boston and the Commonwealth,” said State Majority Whip Jack Hart. “Urban working families should be entitled to raise their children in a safe environment free from gun violence.”

Also in attendance at Mildred Avenue Community Center was state Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry. “I am happy that the governor is here in Mattapan to announce his initiative to take on youth violence,” she said. “This is an issue that affects everyone in the community, and that is why we need to come together in one united effort to make our neighborhoods safe.”

None have been more active on reducing gun violence than Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. He too stood with Patrick.

“Nothing is more important than the success of our young people,” Menino said, “and it is critical that we work together across all levels of government to provide our children and families with the comprehensive support system they need to succeed. From education and social services to public safety, this is a job that nobody can do alone.”