Miami Herald

Anti-delinquency agency targets zip codes with high youth crime

July 25, 2002
The Miami Herald

The state has come up with a new strategy for making its juvenile delinquency prevention programs more effective, officials announced Wednesday.

For the first time, the state Department of Juvenile Justice used computerized mapping to find ZIP codes with high concentrations of juvenile offenders.

Areas with high numbers of offenders create an environment where young kids are exposed to negative peer pressure that may lead them toward trouble, said the department’s Tim Center, chief of delinquency prevention.

“It makes a lot of sense,” said Jeffrey Butts, director of the program on youth and justice for the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. “I haven’t heard of anyone else doing that, but it follows the general trend of locating services where the client is.”

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