June , 2018

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State’s Attorney Alvarez: ‘They need to think twice” before breaking law


By Chinta Strausberg


With school starting just weeks away, officials warned “an idle mind is a devil’s workshop” and cautioned youth to think twice before they pull a trigger because of the long-term harm it causes the victim and the shooter’s family.

Rev. Dr. Leon Finney, Jr. said, “An idle mind is a devil’s workshop. It’s one thing to tell or preach to young people and another thing to engage them and get them involved in activities.”

When Finney was a child, he said there were many social services but that is now the state this country is in today. “Right now, the social services are gone and the kids, in many instances, are creating their own social services networks. My sense is that we have to go back to creating social services, athletic programs and things like that for kids so they will have something to do.

“If they don’t have anything to do, they will invent their own things to do. We, the adults, have to be actively involved in creating voluntary organizations and building clubs and social clubs…to engage the youth. You just can’t tell them don’t be violent without giving them a way not to be violent,” said Finney.

James W. Compton, former President and CEO of the Chicago Urban LeagueAsked about the violence that has taken the lives of so many innocent children, Compton said,  “It makes no sense. All we end up with are people dead, maim, injured or in jail. Not only is it a tragedy for the individual and their families but for the entire community and the city.”

Compton said he is disappointed in the level of violence that is taking place all over the city especially on the south and west sides of Chicago.

 “It seems to me that more organizations coupled with the various departments of the city of Chicago should come together to conclude that there are ways and means by which you stymie this and offer more and different options other than violence for these young people to move ahead and get their education,” said Compton.

Asked if this rash of violence can be solved, Compton said, “I think it can be fixed with the appropriate measures and resources from every office, federal, city, county governments and independent organizations, churches, social clubs, but you have to organized, plan and coalesce in order to do it. You need a more cohesive kind of effort probably under the auspices of the city and appropriate agencies, churches, school….”

Asked if it is time for a summit to deal with this issue, Compton said a summit by itself would probably not resolve much. “If you have a summit with the intent of having things to occur, events, mini-summits, yes, but just to say you are going to have a summit and expect it to come to an end, that in and of itself would not do that. That’s been tried,” he said.

On the question of the rise of violence especially against the youth, State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said, “We have to remember that they need to think twice before they pick up a weapon because not only are they ruining their lives but the lives of other people. They should think particularly about their own family and their own mother and the affect that it would have on her.”

Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host.

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