Jacksonville is on a journey to reduce crime

Mayor Donna Deegan has made it clear. She plans to reinstate the Jacksonville Journey, a very expensive attempt to prevent crime.

Most of the parts still exist but have been split into components and scattered throughout the government apparatus by policy makers who may merely have wanted to make it more difficult to determine its effectiveness.

Some functions went into the Kids Hope Alliance, a $50 million attempt to keep youths from crime and improve their lives.

It may also incorporate the current program Cure Violence. This is a $3 million a year attempt to prevent crime. Cure Violence is considered by some to be a success in Chicago, which had more than 600 homicides and 2,600 shootings in 2022, according to Chicago Police Department data.

There are skeptics. How do you measure crimes that don’t happen because they have been prevented by sending kids to the library or summer camp?

But advocates say if crime drops after the programs are in place, it is evidence they have helped.

When it began the Jacksonville Journey was billed as “a comprehensive community-wide anti-crime initiative.”

It postulated that addressing education, truancy, dropouts and literacy, along with “positive youth development,” neighborhood safety and stability, intervention and rehabilitation and law enforcement would decrease violent crime.

A report in 2016 claimed crime reduction trends in six zip codes from 2005 to 2015. It also claimed a reduction in recidivism.

But what role did law enforcement play? Were there more arrests, more convictions and longer sentences? We know those reduce crime but apparently the effects of those factors were not considered.

It has long been known for more than a half-century that a small minority of criminals commit a majority of crimes and that monitoring them and giving them enhanced sentences for repeat offenses cut crime. This the exact opposite of what “woke” prosecutors in major cities have been doing.

Another liberal deflection is blaming “gun violence” for crime. Guns don’t commit violence and taking them away from people who use them for self-defense is a recipe for disaster and deaths – in other words, more violence.

If the Jacksonville Journey is reorganized and funded with huge amounts of taxpayer money, the least that should be done is to require an annual assessment of its usefulness so the public can weigh the costs and benefits.

Lloyd Brown

Lloyd was born in Jacksonville. Graduated from the University of North Florida. He spent nearly 50 years of his life in the newspaper business …beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor for Florida Times Union. He has also been published in a number of national newspapers and magazines, as well as Internet sites. Married with children. Military Vet. Retired. Man of few words but the words are researched well, deeply considered and thoughtfully written.

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2 responses to “Jacksonville is on a journey to reduce crime”

  1. Thank you for the eye and stating the obvious common sense much needed approach. Good read Lloyd.

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