Murders of Black Teens Soar 39%

Cuts in policing, youth programs blamed

By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User

Posted Dec 29, 2008 4:07 AM CST

(Newser) – Murders of black teens between the ages of 14 and 17 are up 39% since the start of the millennium—five times the overall homicide surge in the same period, and twice that of white teens, reports the Wall Street Journal. The authors of the study attribute some of the staggering jump to slashed law enforcement and youth programs, though conceded it's "hard to pin down" cause and effect.

"Cuts in support of youth have a much greater impact on black families who don't have alternatives," said the study's co-author. The vast majority of victims were killed in  black-on-black crime. Some criminologists attribute high crime rates in some black communities to incarcerated young men returning to their neighborhoods after release from prison.

A correctional officer escorts a group of recently arrived inmates in California. Some attribute the rise in murder rates to a migration of prison culture to the streets.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, file)
A family member sobs during funeral services for a 17-year-old Los Angeles high school student.   (AP Photo/POOL - The Los Angeles Times, Barbara Davidson)
Police officers tour Los Angeles in March, after the murder of a 17-year-old.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
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