Blueprint for Action Goals & Recommendations
GOAL #1: Every young person in Minneapolis is supported by at least one trusted adult in their family or their community.
A. Ensure there is a trusted adult in the life of every young person in Minneapolis by increasing the number of quality mentoring opportunities for young people, along with proper training for mentors of all ages and backgrounds.
B. Increase the number of private businesses providing jobs through the City of Minneapolis STEP-UP to give more young people the opportunity for employment and positive interactions with engaged adults.
C. Strengthen the coordination of public and private youth programs, services and opportunities.
D. Increase the number of high-quality community-based youth programs, services and opportunities, including leadership training. Equip these organizations and their leaders with the skills needed to direct youth away from violence and towards positive alternatives.
E. Reestablish Minneapolis Police liaisons in Public Schools to give young people opportunities to build positive relationships with the Minneapolis Police and to strengthen coordination between schools, parks and police.
F. Provide year-round You^th Are Here bus service so that young people have safe reliable transportation to services and activities.
G. Give young people safe spaces for activities during out-of-school times by increasing the hours when Library, Park and School buildings are open.
H. Provide young people with consistent, effective and meaningful violence prevention training by developing a shared curriculum and coordinated training program for the Minneapolis Libraries, Parks, and Schools.
I. Increase the number of training and support programs available for parents of teenagers so they have the knowledge, tools, education and resources to spot early warning signs and raise teens that do not condone or engage in violence.
J. Increase teenage pregnancy prevention programs in Minneapolis, so teens do not become parents before they have completed their own education or before they are prepared to take on the responsibility of raising children.
K. Reduce the number of second children to teen parents by connecting every teen parent with health, education and parenting resources to ensure that they have the tools they need to raise healthy children.
GOAL #2: Intervene at the first sign that youth and families are at risk for or involved in violence.
A. Find meaningful employment for young people who may be more difficult to employ by expanding the summer employment programs for at-risk youth, expanding the City's STEP-UP youth jobs program, and better connecting to County employment programs for youth already in the justice system.
B. Provide focused attention and resources toward early intervention with juvenile offenders by establishing the juvenile supervision and service center and maintaining the Minneapolis Police Department's juvenile unit.
C. Develop a standard protocol and train adults to use it in parks, schools and health care facilities in the aftermath of critical violent incidents so that those incidents can be used to educate young people on the ways to prevent and de-escalate violent behavior.
D. Establish and promote a youth help line to give young people a safe, confidential way to report trouble or seek help.
E. Establish policies and training making every library, park and school a nonviolence zone, so that young people see nonviolence being actively practiced and do not see violence being ignored or condoned by adults at facilities that are meant to be safe places for learning and activities.
F. Support alternatives to suspension and expulsion in Minneapolis schools as a way to determine effective tools and policies to prevent violence and address violent incidents.
G. Provide young people with consistent and effective support by creating a common definition of “risky behavior,” and coordinating a set of actions to be taken as a result; to be shared and used by Minneapolis Parks, Schools, and City government, Hennepin County, and the broader juvenile justice system.
H. Increase training and support programs for parents of at-risk teenagers, including juvenile re-entry, so that these parents have the knowledge, tools and resources they need to get their kids back on the right track.
I. To strengthen the existing youth drug & alcohol use community-wide coalition to include a dedicated focus on the intersection of alcohol use & violence in 10-24 year olds. Coalition efforts should specifically address youth binge drinking, youth access to alcohol, & messaging to youth & families.
J. Provide young people who have an incarcerated parent with additional adult support by creating mentor programs that match these youth with individualized support.
K. Expand street level outreach, including bold door-to-door outreach that engages families and re-connects youth exhibiting risky behavior with quality education and employment opportunities.
GOAL #3: Do not give up on our kids, work to restore and get them back on track.
A. Strengthen cross-jurisdictional mechanisms so that different parts of the juvenile justice system (probation, police, corrections, health care providers, community-based organizations, etc.) can better coordinate services and support systems for young offenders.
B. Expand the scope and increase the funding of juvenile probation to better integrate young offenders back into the community. This should include incorporating youth development practices into probation instead of solely focusing on punishment and monitoring.
C. Implement a comprehensive assessment tool that identifies a juvenile's mental health and related needs and connects them to available services without risking self-incrimination.
D. Decrease re-offense rates by better connecting youth offenders to educational opportunities, employment skills and health care services.
E. Expand restorative justice programs for youth offenders, which have been shown to effectively reduce re-offenses by reintegrating offenders into the community, and enable offenders to assume active responsibility for their actions.
F. Strengthen and expand proven after-care models to ensure that each youth returning from out of home placement has a comprehensive plan to re-enter their community. Better engage community and faith organizations in helping to provide after-care solutions for these youth and their families.
G. Develop relevant and culturally appropriate rites of passage to support a more comprehensive process for youth offenders to re-enter the community. Helping these youth and their families will alleviate many community concerns and buoy their confidence and civic engagement.
H. Expand sentencing options for youth to include comprehensive and intense behavioral training and therapy for young offenders and their families.
I. Ensure that support systems for youth offenders are extended to strengthen the families these youth come from and return to.
GOAL #4: Recognize that violence is learned and can be unlearned by reducing the impact of violent messages in our media, culture and entertainment.
A. Work with local experts and youth to develop a local public education campaign to ensure that young people and our entire community see their roles and responsibilities in stopping violence, while providing the knowledge and tools to reduce violence and safely intervene when violence occurs.
B. Recognize that youth violence is a national problem and Minneapolis should lead the discussion by partnering with other mayors and leaders in other cities to form a national coalition against youth violence.
C. Support sensible illegal gun laws and work to change community values around the acceptance of guns. This includes seeking stronger penalties for people who sell and distribute illegal guns, and profit from the sale and distribution of illegal guns to young people.
Last updated May. 1, 2013