Ryan Unveils New Pilot Programs in Three Cities to Address Exposure To Violence Among the Very Young

Apr 12, 2001, 01:00 ET from Illinois Attorney General's Office

    CHICAGO, April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- In his continuing commitment to address
 root causes of crime, Attorney General Jim Ryan unveiled innovative test
 programs in three Illinois cities today zeroing in on the state's most
 vulnerable children -- those aged five and under who have been exposed
 directly to violence.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/19981201/CGTU043 )
     Experts agree that targeting the most at-risk children can have a dramatic
 long-term effect on their lives and the overall safety of society.
     Ryan's "Safe From the Start" initiative evolved from a federal-state
 summit by the same name last April in Chicago co-hosted by the U.S.
 Department of Justice.  The federal-state partnership is continuing with the
 introduction of federal legislation by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin that would
 allow other states to replicate Illinois' program.
     Today, Ryan and Durbin are visiting two of the three Illinois cities where
 the test programs are underway.  Since January, agencies in Hoffman Estates,
 Granite City and Peoria have begun identifying youngsters who have been
 exposed to violence and developing strategies for treatment.  Intervention
 with the youths will begin in July and run for three years under a
 $100,000 grant from the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority (IVPA).  The
 visit to Granite City was cancelled due to weather conditions.
     Ryan, Durbin and IVPA Executive Director Barbara Shaw agree that children
 who have either been victims of violence or witnessed it are much more likely
 to commit violent acts in their lifetimes.
     "Sadly, it is a statistical fact that children exposed to violence are
 much more likely to become troubled and violent teenagers and adults,"
 Attorney General Ryan said.  "We must try to salvage these innocent lives. If
 we intervene soon enough, we can."
     Added Shaw of the IVPA, "The selected sites have demonstrated their
 ability to mobilize the community to respond to young children traumatized by
 violence, and we look forward to evaluating the response models these sites
 will develop."
     According to a report by the National Institute of Justice, when children
 are abused or neglected, their likelihood of arrest as a juvenile increases by
 53 percent and as an adult for violent crimes by 38 percent.
     The IVPA, co-chaired by Ryan and Illinois Public Health Director John
 Lumpkin, selected the three Safe From the Start sites last year.  They are:
 
     -- The Children's Advocacy Center of Northwest Cook County,  640 Illinois
        Avenue, Hoffman Estates, serving Hoffman Estates,  Schaumburg, Hanover
        Park and Streamwood;
     -- Chestnut Health Systems, 500 Northgate Industrial Drive, Granite City,
        serving Madison County;
     -- The Center for Prevention of Abuse, 5113 N. Executive Drive, Peoria,
        which serves Peoria County.
 
     Each pilot has assembled a coalition of community leaders and children's
 advocates to identify at-risk children and their care givers, conduct a needs
 assessment and develop a strategic plan to be implemented and evaluated over
 the next three years.
     Ryan said if the pilot programs prove successful in Illinois he would
 advocate expanding their use throughout the state using either state or
 federal money or both.
     Ryan concluded, "We need to provide a powerful antidote for these at-risk
 children to counteract the powerful influences of violence that have poisoned
 their early lives.  We can make their lives better and make Illinois a safer
 place to live for all citizens."
 
 

SOURCE Illinois Attorney General's Office
    CHICAGO, April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- In his continuing commitment to address
 root causes of crime, Attorney General Jim Ryan unveiled innovative test
 programs in three Illinois cities today zeroing in on the state's most
 vulnerable children -- those aged five and under who have been exposed
 directly to violence.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/19981201/CGTU043 )
     Experts agree that targeting the most at-risk children can have a dramatic
 long-term effect on their lives and the overall safety of society.
     Ryan's "Safe From the Start" initiative evolved from a federal-state
 summit by the same name last April in Chicago co-hosted by the U.S.
 Department of Justice.  The federal-state partnership is continuing with the
 introduction of federal legislation by U.S. Senator Dick Durbin that would
 allow other states to replicate Illinois' program.
     Today, Ryan and Durbin are visiting two of the three Illinois cities where
 the test programs are underway.  Since January, agencies in Hoffman Estates,
 Granite City and Peoria have begun identifying youngsters who have been
 exposed to violence and developing strategies for treatment.  Intervention
 with the youths will begin in July and run for three years under a
 $100,000 grant from the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority (IVPA).  The
 visit to Granite City was cancelled due to weather conditions.
     Ryan, Durbin and IVPA Executive Director Barbara Shaw agree that children
 who have either been victims of violence or witnessed it are much more likely
 to commit violent acts in their lifetimes.
     "Sadly, it is a statistical fact that children exposed to violence are
 much more likely to become troubled and violent teenagers and adults,"
 Attorney General Ryan said.  "We must try to salvage these innocent lives. If
 we intervene soon enough, we can."
     Added Shaw of the IVPA, "The selected sites have demonstrated their
 ability to mobilize the community to respond to young children traumatized by
 violence, and we look forward to evaluating the response models these sites
 will develop."
     According to a report by the National Institute of Justice, when children
 are abused or neglected, their likelihood of arrest as a juvenile increases by
 53 percent and as an adult for violent crimes by 38 percent.
     The IVPA, co-chaired by Ryan and Illinois Public Health Director John
 Lumpkin, selected the three Safe From the Start sites last year.  They are:
 
     -- The Children's Advocacy Center of Northwest Cook County,  640 Illinois
        Avenue, Hoffman Estates, serving Hoffman Estates,  Schaumburg, Hanover
        Park and Streamwood;
     -- Chestnut Health Systems, 500 Northgate Industrial Drive, Granite City,
        serving Madison County;
     -- The Center for Prevention of Abuse, 5113 N. Executive Drive, Peoria,
        which serves Peoria County.
 
     Each pilot has assembled a coalition of community leaders and children's
 advocates to identify at-risk children and their care givers, conduct a needs
 assessment and develop a strategic plan to be implemented and evaluated over
 the next three years.
     Ryan said if the pilot programs prove successful in Illinois he would
 advocate expanding their use throughout the state using either state or
 federal money or both.
     Ryan concluded, "We need to provide a powerful antidote for these at-risk
 children to counteract the powerful influences of violence that have poisoned
 their early lives.  We can make their lives better and make Illinois a safer
 place to live for all citizens."
 
 SOURCE  Illinois Attorney General's Office