JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – There are a lot of factors that play a role in youth crime and home life is one of the most important factors.
On Wednesday, the Peace and Pearls Single Parent Support Network held a town hall discussion on youth violence, and everyone agreed that the pandemic has had an influence on everyone including young people.
“Not having those structures in place didn’t give them an outlet that they would usually have,” said Dr. Shelita Ann Brown.
Judge Carolyn Hicks said she is many of the families who have entered her courtroom have been in survival mode.
“It’s very difficult to mitigate these types of behaviors when children are in survival mode and parents are in survival mode, and they are left to their own devices and fend for themselves and provide for their younger siblings,” she said.
Many do not know how to solve a conflict by making an impulse decision.
Hicks said, “We may have been able to discuss some things when we had disagreements somebody posted this on social media, and this person didn’t like it get to school and want to fight, but now it’s go pick up a gun and kill them because of what they said on social media.”
In order to stop youth violence, Dr. Trenia Allen said the community has to get back to being the village and showing that they care.
“I don’t have a problem with asking children in my community, ‘Why aren’t you in school today? What’s going on?’ Having a conversation with them and saying, ‘I see you look a little sad today. What’s going on?'” she explained.
Pastor Hosea Hines said the church, schools, and community have to work together and not against changing mindsets.
“Integrating all of those and letting each one place its significant part as it relates to ethics in developing our children,” said Hines.
Each panelist said addressing youth violence must go beyond the discussion and be put into action.