Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard joined with Public Safety Director Troy Riggs, Radio One/Indianapolis VP/General Manager Chuck Williams and a wide range of community leaders in adapting Your Life Matters to a major effort by Indianapolis to end the violence and create a plan to help young people make better choices in the city. The effort that was announced was part of what Mayor Ballard said in his State of the City Address when he said, “This current pattern of violence is robbing us of an entire generation of young men of color, and it must stop. Every life in our city matters.” At a briefing at the Washington Park Family Center, the Mayor, Director Riggs and Radio One’s Williams outlined a number of steps the City will be taking to create a safer and healthier environment in Indianapolis.
2-1-1 Parenting Assistance
The City is pledging $75,000 to 2-1-1 to expand its capacity to help. 2-1-1 can now provide information to parents who need help and guidance with their children. “I cannot stress enough the need for parents to join us in this effort to stop the violence,” said Mayor Ballard. “If you need help, call 2-1-1. That call could determine whether you will attend your child’s graduation, sentencing hearing or funeral.”
Mentoring Help/Public Service Announcements
The Mayor also shared a list of nearly 60 organizations that can provide mentoring and role models for troubled youth. The Mayor and Chuck Williams discussed the Your Life Matters PSA campaign that began on February 17th on Radio One’s Indy Stations 106.7 WTLC – AM1310 The Light – Hot 96.3 – Radio Now 100.9. These sixty second PSA’s share the message Your Life Matters and encourage young people and young adults to stop the violence. Said Williams, “Radio One Indianapolis is committed to engaging the community with active messaging that encourages individuals to seek assistance and direction to avoid criminal activity.”
Re-Entry Assistance for Ex-Offenders
Every year approximately 5,000 ex-offenders are released from the Department of Corrections into Indianapolis. The Mayor’s Office of Re-Entry works to give these ex-offenders a genuine shot at turning their life around by providing a directory of groups that will assist them with everything from jobs to housing, assign them a specially trained mentor to help prior to and up to 18 months after their release, moving probation officers to IMPD district offices to be closer to the ex-offenders living in their area, and showing them a video on their first day in prison to help them prepare for their first day out.
Prescription for Hope
This program, sponsored by City Crime Prevention Grants and private donations, enrolls at-risk people, mostly young black men between ages 14 and 20 and those who enter Eskenazi Hospital with gunshot, stab and other wounds resulting from violence, into programs to help them turn their life around. In the past three years, nearly 150 people have been enrolled in Prescription for Hope. Less than five percent of those people have returned to the hospital with a violence-related injury, and only 10 percent.
Your Life Matters Briefing & Press Conference
Click the Arrow to Hear the Full Statements of Mayor Ballard, Radio One’s Williams and Public Safety Director Riggs. Runs 22 Minutes.
One of the highlights of the briefing was a testimony by a young Black man, Johnny Willis. He participated in several programs that have helped keep him on a positive path away from violence. Click the Arrow to Hear Willis’ Eloquent Testimony. Runs 5 Minutes.
Click the Arrow to Hear the Full Q&A from a Press Conference on the City’s Your Life Matters Efforts. Runs 27 Minutes.
Fact Sheets On Mayor’s Anti-Violence Programs And Initiatives (Click to Read/Download)