Forsyth Group Considers Programs To Reduce Gun And Gang Violence

Forsyth Group Considers Programs To Reduce Gun And Gang Violence

2:00pm Jun 08, 2021
Winston-Salem and Forsyth County community leaders are looking at crime prevention and intervention programs for youth. KERI BROWN/WFDD

Local officials are looking at ways to reduce the amount of gun and gang-related violence in Forsyth County. They’re considering several intervention programs for troubled youth.

The Forsyth County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council approved its recommended budget of $940,000 for the new fiscal year.

The group is part of a state mandate to reduce and prevent juvenile crime. Community members are appointed by county commissioners to serve on the council. 

The council’s new budget includes money to support programs for vocational training, mentoring, trauma assessment, and counseling for kids who are at risk of delinquency or in the juvenile justice system.

There’s also a separate pot of money from the county to address gun and gang-related violence. It’s $400,000 and how that money will be used is still being decided.

Rich Smith is with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety and is a consultant for the council. He says there also needs to be a focus on issues beyond youth violence. 

“If we use that $400,000 just to address juvenile gang issues then we would be missing out on that adult population,” he says.

A nonprofit known as Forsyth Futures says there were more than 600 gang members in the county in December of 2020 based on local law enforcement data. 

The Forsyth County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council’s recommended budget will head to the county board of commissioners for review and approval.

Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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