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Boys & Girls Club CEO encourages elected officials to revisit violence prevention plan amid uptick in violence

The Boys & Girls Club says revisiting this plan could be a way for the community to remember Anisa Scott, the 11-year-old who recently died from gun violence
Boys and Girls Club of Dane County (Source: WMTV)
Boys and Girls Club of Dane County (Source: WMTV)(NBC15)
Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 6:13 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Boys & Girls Club of Dane County CEO Michael Johnson encouraged local leaders to revisit a violence prevention plan to address the recent uptick in violence in Madison.

According to a Friday news release, the City of Madison voted to unanimously support the 15-point plan back in 2016.

“As a Chicago native and moving to Madison I saw how Madison was changing and warned our community over the years that we would get to this point. These proposed ideas have already been vetted and included feedback from young people, hundreds of community residents, victims of violent crimes, formerly incarcerated individuals and leaders from across Dane County,” said Michael Johnson, Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County CEO. “Now we need to execute. Revisit this plan - the time to act is NOW.”

The blueprint of the violence prevention plan, as is in the news release, includes:

1. Re-purposing funds over four years from the correctional system to employ thousands of inner-city young men.

2. Train and develop peer support coaches with violence prevention strategies to meditate issues before crimes are committed in the community. The Focused Interruption Coalition was created to address this issue; however, later it was funded at a minimum level.

3. Train and develop peer support coaches to decrease recidivism with a focus on reducing the number of young people returning to jail.

4. Engage youth in providing solutions in partnership with a Police Oversight Committee to engage communities of color and other marginalized groups. You can call this the Madison Area Policing Strategy (MAPS) as an alternative to defunding the police.

5. Provide awards and protection for witnesses who report violent crimes. Any homicide in the city would result in an automatic $10,000 cash reward for the conviction of the perpetrator.

6. Employ thousands of youth during the summer months. BGC of Dane County employed and found internships for 152 kids. What if 50 other organizations did the same? Flood the market with meaningful job opportunities for young people to steer them away from criminal activities.

7. Lobby for policies that address social justice issues and have several nonprofits funded to specifically focus on policy issues like housing, early childhood education, etc. This is a huge gap.

8. Provide mentoring and executive coaching for men of color by men of color in the workplace. The goal is to retain local talent and to increase and sustain workplace diversity and inclusion. 9. Provide alternative sentencing for nonviolent offenders to reduce disparities in Dane County jail.

10. Provide mental health therapy for families in need; in communities in need.

11. Provide court advocates for low-income individuals 25-years-old and younger.

12. Build new community centers in targeted neighborhoods.

13. Fund robust functional family therapy programs for families living in poverty and for those impacted by acts of violence.

14. Provide parent management training classes that include financial literacy and wealth building.

15. Create a basic need fund for new emerging workers who struggle with housing and transportation issues.

The Boys & Girls Club says revisiting this plan could be a way for the community to remember Anisa Scott, the 11-year-old who recently died from gun violence, and others who have suffered from similar crimes in Madison.

Copyright 2020 WMTV. All rights reserved.

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