Nearly 14 Children Per Day Are Victims Of Crime In City Of Detroit, Says Report

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Although a large majority of Detroiters are positive about Detroit’s revitalization, it seems as if the children of the city are the ones getting left behind.

A new, in-depth report out by the Detroit Free Press in collaboration with the Solutions Journalism Network has some staggering statistics when it comes to the situation of children in Detroit.

The whole thing is worth a read, but here are a couple heart wrenching highlights from this and another article in the series talking about the situation.

  • From 2009-2015, the Detroit Police Department investigated more than 33,000 cases involving youths aged 17 and under.
  • 43% were victims of violent crimes such as aggravated assault, homicide, robbery, and sexual assault.

Here’s more data, from another piece in the series on Education that polled 400 Detroiters about their biggest concerns:

  • 75% rate the quality of education in Detroit Public Schools either “fair” or poor.”
  • 85% cite the lack of job opportunities and 83% cite the lack of recreational opportunities.
  • 77% expressed concerns about teen parents.
  • 35% of residents rate crime their biggest concern, followed by the quality of Detroit schools (20%).
  • One small sign of progress is that the rate of crime against youth is going down slightly over the last five years, from 27 victims per 1,000 youths in 2009 to 25 victims per 1,000 youths in 2014.
  • It’s interesting to note that 69% of residents are optimistic about the future of the city. Also, Police Chief James Craig rates very highly (75% approve) as well as Mayor Duggan (60%).

In other school developments, the state of Michigan is holding the position that literacy is not a right in the city of Detroit, and that they did not technically control the schools while Emergency Managers – which the state appointed – were in power. This is coming up now because a group of seven Detroit children are suing the state of Michigan.

“Instead of providing students with a meaningful education and literacy, the state simply provides buildings — many in serious disrepair — in which students pass days and then years with no opportunity to learn to read, write or comprehend.”

Per the Detroit News, the state’s attorney had this response, attempting to get the case dismissed:

In his motion, Haynes [the lawyer for the state] denies the state of Michigan has been responsible for the operation of the schools in Detroit since 1999, which is alleged in the lawsuit, and says the state does not operate or control public schools in Detroit.

What the state’s lawyers are basically saying is that the state sets the funding. And the state appoints the emergency manager. And that power supersedes the elected school board. But in their view, the state doesn’t and didn’t technically control it.

We’ll leave you to chew on that one for yourself.

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