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Uptick in youth violence has local organization wanting more activities, community centers

Updated: Mar. 28, 2021 at 10:59 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Three months into the new year, the Jackson Police Department has investigated more than 30 homicides.

A number of those crimes have involved teenagers.

In fact, this month alone, three teenagers are responsible for multiple homicides.

Two of the teens are now charged with capital murder.

“It is just sad that so many lives are getting lost without ever really living,” said Terun Moore, co-director of Strong Arms of Jxn and the co-founder of the People’s Advocacy Institute.

Moore said a lack of parenting and lack of activities throughout the city are key reasons why so many teens tend to gravitate towards violence.

“A lot of folks just jump out here in the street looking for love, and they end up finding it in the street, but the thing that gets normalized in the street really ain’t normal,” he said.

See, the Jackson resident said he was once that teen involved in violent activity.

Moore was arrested when he was 17-years-old and spent nearly two decades in prison for a murder charge.

“I recognize where I fell in that hole at, where I made that mistake at, and I was seeing I made the mistake in my youth by doing a lot of the same things the youth do today,” Moore explained. “I am trying to reach the youth and tell the perspective that I was there; I used to be you.”

Tired of seeing young people involved in crimes, Moore now uses his past as a teaching lesson for future generations.

He is a part of Strong Arms of Jxn, a nonprofit organization that mentors and works with young people who may be heading down the wrong path.

“Strong Arms of Jxn, what we do is try to focus on changing the minds of our youth,” Moore expressed.

Every week, Moore said the organization and the youth participate in things such as a workforce readiness program, community service, and educational activities with Tougaloo College, just to name a few.

As the city looks for solutions to combat crime, Moore believes building more community centers will help steer youth away from the violence.

“People from these communities know what is missing, know what is going on, know where the miseducation started at, and know where the re-education needs to begin,” said Moore. “Then with our kids, they need an activity, a lot of people get alienated because of the poverty.”

In February, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba implemented a curfew for everyone under the age of 18.

This was in an effort to prevent teens from committing crimes.

That curfew is currently still in effect.

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