Crime prevention forums aim to help teens this summer

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Keeping kids off the street this summer is the main goal of youth organizations around Marion County.

Two crime prevention forums are happening this week. They’re called “Youth Worker Cafés” and they’re aimed at helping teens who are out of school this summer stay safe here in Marion County.

The Indiana Youth Institute is organizing the cafés and is bringing people who work with kids and religious groups like the Ten Point Coalition led by Reverend Charles Harrison.

The head of the Youth Institute referenced the recent fight caught on camera at Northwest High School. With kids now out of school, Youth Institute President Bill Stanczykiewicz says the goal of these discussions is to look for ways to keep that kind of violence from moving into neighborhoods.

“In some school districts, summer used to be 12 weeks, but now it’s six or eight weeks because of the balanced calendars. But, it’s still a very condensed time when kids have a lot of time on their hands to take some of the negative behaviors we saw in school classrooms and hallways out into the streets,” Stanczykiewicz said.

People at Tuesday’s forum will learn about possible summer job opportunities for teens. Reverend Harrison’s church, the Barnes United Methodist Church, is launching its own jobs program this summer.

Tuesday’s forum gets underway at 11:30 a.m. and goes until 1 p.m. at Gleaners Food Bank.

The second forum is Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the McKenzie Career Center on 75th Street.

You must RSVP for both events, but if you just show up you will be accommodated.