More than a dozen Louisville youth charged with murder in 2017

Addressing violence among Louisville's youth

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- More than a dozen youth under 18 have been arrested and charged with murder, so far, this year in Louisville. That number does not include any accusations of robberies, assaults or other violent crimes. Although they haven't been convicted, that number has us asking what can be done to curb this apparent trend. 

 

Our conversation started with Metro Youth Detention since it houses those young people arrested by LMPD. The Director tells us without more hands involved, the revolving door and negative cycle of crime will continue. When a juvenile is accused of a crime, the courts determine whether they'll end up in Metro Youth Detention Services, Home Incarceration, Home Supervision or simply given a court date. 

 

"When they come to our center we want to try and do everything we can to wrap programs around these kids while we have them but they're going home one day, right? Because when they're here they're just accused,” Dr. Ursula Mullins, Director of Metro Youth Detention Services said.

 

It's a battle Dr. Mullins fights every day, as we are seeing the arrests of alleged shooting suspects getting younger.

 

The detention center houses about a hundred youth typically aged 13-17.

 

She adds, "I don't want to play hot potato and say as a detention center, it's not me and I don't want any of our partners to say that either, I think the answer is for all of us to realize that it's all of us."  

 

"We're going to pay one way or the other. We're going to pay for them to be involved in the system or we can pay much less in terms of involving them in community programming," says Rev. Vincent James, he's the Metro Chief of Community Building. 

 

James said young people are getting involved in violence through a number of avenues and incarceration is not the only way.

 

He adds, "You have to look at it from public, private sectors, you have to look at it from faith-based communities, education, all of these different sectors have to be engaged in addressing the issue, it can't, it won't be successful if you just look at it from an enforcement issues."

 

Both officials said the crime isn't one area's problem but everyone’s problem.

 

Whether you donate financially to programs or mentor and help, your return on investment may not be immediate but your investment in human potential is priceless. To learn more about the Office of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, click here.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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