New Orleans Highlighted By U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch For Murder Reduction
NEW ORLEANS – On Monday, June 27, 2016, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch highlighted the City of New Orleans for its 30 percent decline in murders for the year at the National Summit on Youth Violence Prevention in Baltimore.
In her remarks, Lynch addressed the direct results of exposure to violence at a young age, including long-term physical, mental and emotional harm, risk of failing in school and struggling to find and hold a job. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is working with partners across the federal government as a part of the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention to raise awareness about youth violence prevention and to support communities’ efforts to address this issue. The DOJ regards youth violence as an issue of both public safety and public health.
“President Obama and his administration have been committed partners in our effort to change the culture of violence in our city to a culture of peace,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “There is no challenge more urgent than preventing murder. And through NOLA FOR LIFE, we have developed a comprehensive murder reduction strategy that is getting results. We know that there is a long way to go, but together, we have the power to turn the tide against violence and create a city of peace. If we are united, there is nothing we cannot do.”
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said, “While national crime rates remain at historic lows, a number of cities have experienced increases in homicides and violent crime – including crimes involving young people. In the United States, homicide is the third leading cause of death for youths between the ages of 10 and 24. Every day – every day – 13 young people are murdered in our country. This means that every day, 13 young people are robbed of their chance to live a full and rich life. And as awful as these numbers are, they do not tell the whole story – because the dead are far from the only victims of violence. Its effects are felt far beyond a crime scene, inflicting invisible wounds on all who live in its presence. There are the families – whose existence is forever punctuated by the world before their loss and the darkness after.”
In 2015, President Obama launched My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge, the final step of the initial phase of a challenge issued by the President in September 2014 that encourages communities to implement a coherent cradle-to-college-and-career strategy for improving the life outcomes of all young people to ensure that they can reach their full potential, regardless of who they are, where they come from, or the circumstances into which they are born. Leveraging the work of NOLA FOR LIFE and the Mayor’s Economic Opportunity Strategy, the City of New Orleans in 2014 joined a network of nearly 200 cities, counties, and tribal nations from 43 states across the country committed to investing in the lives of black men and boys.
Lynch said, “We have provided funding and support to help reduce violence in Boston; to help increase school attendance in Long Beach; and to help promote safe communities in New Orleans – where I’m proud to say that we have realized a more than 30 percent drop in homicides over the last year. We are joining with faith and community–based organizations, youth and family groups and business and philanthropic leaders in neighborhoods from coast to coast. And our U.S. Attorneys’ Offices are working closely with local enforcement and elected leaders in their districts to reduce violent crime, to build capacity and to promote holistic responses to violence and its consequences. The Justice Department is proud to play a key role in this groundbreaking administration-wide effort – one of the many ways we are responding to milestone number six of My Brother’s Keeper: keeping kids on the right track and giving them second chances. We will continue to contribute to the forum going forward.”
Last week, the City of New Orleans released the NOLA FOR LIFE 2016 Four-Year Progress Report which City reps said provides an all-encompassing view of the City’s comprehensive murder-reduction strategy. In the four years since NOLA FOR LIFE launched, there have been 86 fewer murders and an 18% lower murder rate than in the four years prior to NOLA FOR LIFE. In 2011, 55 percent of New Orleans murders were gang or group related, while that number has been cut in half today. This year, New Orleans is on track to have the lowest number of murders since 1971, City reps said.
The NOLA FOR LIFE 2016 Progress Report details why certain initiatives were selected, who they are reaching and the results they have produced. It presents the results of the initiatives that are currently part of the strategy, but also of those that are no longer in place. Finally, the report provides insight into other contributing factors, such as demographics, education, early childhood and healthcare, as well as examines how New Orleans compares to national trends.