High poverty levels lead to more youth crime

High poverty levels lead to more youth crime

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Authorities and local organizations are fighting to reduce the number of children who live in poverty in the parish.

Recent studies show 30 percent of children in East Baton Rouge Parish live in poverty. EBR District Attorney Hillar Moore says if they can reduce the level of poverty, it will hopefully translate into fewer young people behind bars.

"If you find where the poverty is that's also where you're going to find the low levels of education and that's where you're going to find the high levels of crime," said Moore.

Among those fighting the problem is Gaylnynne Mack, Executive director of the youth development program Big Buddy.

She said to break the cycle, Louisiana leaders need to invest more money in youth programs instead of building jail cells, similar to what youth advocates called for at the state's legislative session Tuesday.

"It costs us $88,000 a year to incarcerate a juvenile," said Mack. "which is different to our program that can take $3,000 and make sure a person gets in an after school program and into a workforce development internship where they are getting the skills and the knowledge they need to be successful."

If you would like more information about the Big Buddy program please call (225) 388- 9737.

Copyright 2015 WAFB. All rights reserved.