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San Joaquin County Ranks #1 For Youth Homicide Victimization In California, New Study Reveals

CIRCUMSTANCE 

The overwhelming majority of homicides of youth and young adults were not related to any other felony crime.  For the 445 homicides in which the circumstances between the victim and offender could be identified, 81 percent were not related to the commission of any other felony.  Of these, 61 percent were gang-related. 

LOCATION 

For all races, the most common homicide location was a street, sidewalk, or parking lot.  Among youth and young adults for homicides in which the location could be determined, 55 percent occurred on a street, sidewalk, or in a parking lot.  Twelve percent occurred in the home of the victim or offender.  Thirteen percent occurred at another residence, and six percent occurred in a vehicle.

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The study states that "homicide, and particularly gun homicide, continues to be one of the most pressing public health concerns in California among youth and young adults ages 10 to 24" and urges that "effective violence prevention strategies must include measures that prioritize preventing youth and young adults from accessing firearms, especially handguns."

The study recommends further research into "the identification of the make, model, and caliber of weapons most preferred by this age group as well as analyses identifying the sources of the weapons" and an "expansion of comprehensive violence intervention and prevention strategies that include a focus on the psychological well-being of witnesses and survivors of gun violence."

The study concludes that the "current 'tough on crime' mentality that, despite the wealth of research, continues to exercise control over too many policymakers is not only economically unsustainable it is also morally suspect.  It is time to allow programs such as the examples detailed in this report a real opportunity to improve  neighborhoods and change lives through a significant shift in resources, and in the way we think about violence."

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