Baton Rouge groups ramp up community outreach following string of murders, gun violence
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - After a busy and violent weekend in the Capital City that stretched into Monday, May 22, a Baton Rouge non-profit is hoping its work and outreach can make a difference.
The 100 Black of Metro Baton Rouge led a town hall meeting at New Sunlight Baptist Church where they discussed community efforts to deter gun violence.
“It is just a happenstance that tonight is a meeting after the horrific weekend,” said Michael Adams, president of 100 Black Men of Metro Baton Rouge.
Since Saturday, May 20, there have been nine different shootings in the city that left five people dead.
“Once your kids leave home, you don’t know if they’re coming back or not. Just scary things. It’s different than when I was a child.” said JD Reed, a concerned parent and grandparent.
To help combat violence, the 100 is starting a new program called “Not from This House”.
The program is designed to help 200 first offender juveniles in the criminal justice system turn their lives around.
The juveniles chosen will go through the program for one year, which will include addressing emotional and mental health concerns and other reform initiatives. If they successfully complete it, they will get their record wiped clean and given a fresh start by a judge.
The 100 will operate this program in conjunction with the East Baton Rouge District Attorney’s Office, the 19th JDC and the Juvenile Court System.
Parents at the town hall believe this sort of reform might be the key.
“The violence is unnecessary. We don’t need to take lives to prove a point,” said Cathy Floyd.
The 100′s Executive Director Dadrius Lanus hopes to expand the program from 200 to 2000 juveniles in the future.
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