Friday, September 19, 2008

Pittsburgh targets youth crime

Pittsburgh targets youth crimeSimple terms: Identify the worst criminal groups responsible for more than half of the violence, tell them that violence won't be tolerated and that there are other options and then follow through.
Citizens, time to get out your decoder rings.
The message: Our promise to you is, after we have this meeting, the first group that kills somebody, pack your toothbrush, because we're rolling you all up," he said. "You punish the entire group ... They start policing themselves.
So, we'll have ANOTHER Pittsburgh Promise.

The first promise is still not proven to work, or have taken root.

The formal plan SHOULD be available to the public. Could, would, should.

The city has volumes of plans. It has shelves of laws that go without any enforcement. We've got plans for sky-bus to subway stations with skylights.

They think it will have an impact in six months -- about the time of the mayor's primary. Go figure.

When does the formal plan get delivered?

If they are going to punish entire gangs for flare ups -- where do they put the new prisons? Isn't the Allegheny County Jail already full? How much room is available? Where are they going to put the punished?

What happens with they dish out punishments that don't match with the ones did the crime?

Guilt by association puts Pittsburgh onto the highway to a fascist community. This is much like Miami Vice and the spread of the War on Drugs. If you got a boat -- you're a guilty drug smuggler.


"If it is done with reasonable goodwill and if it is kept in place, you will get these too-good-to-be-true results," he said.

So, the heavy handed police state needs to be operated with reasonable goodwill. And, it needs to happen day-in-day-out.

Mr. Ravenstahl has pledged $160,000 in city funds and Mr. Burgess $40,000 in council funds toward the costs of retaining Mr. Kennedy and the University of Pittsburgh's School of Social Work, which will participate in the research component.

The $160,000 and the $40,000 are not from the mayor's office nor from city council. Those funds are our funds -- city taxpayer money.

A chunk of that money is going to a retainer for someone in Boston. How much? Is his role that of 'cheerleader' and 'teacher?' Is this Boston model with benchmarks for Pittsburgh?

What exactly are we going to hold these folks accountable for?

Frankly, I'm all in favor of gang activities. But, I want our kids in gangs that we control -- positive gangs. Swim teams, orchestra, and the Ozanam Basketball League are gangs that work for us.

Motivation comes with both a stick and a carrot. I hate to see them deploy bigger and bigger sticks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

John K: So now we are telling them that violence against citizens will not be tolerated. When did the City send out signals that it was tolerated? And if not now tolerated, then why was it tolerated by the City before this?