Governor Pat Quinn visited the Chicago State University Campus during the Will Bynum Basketball Camp this week to sign new legislation that will create a task force to combat the epidemic of violence impacting today's youth.
The bill was sponsored by State Representative LaShawn Ford (D-Chicago) and State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago), and creates the Violence Prevention Task Force. Among its duties, the task force is charged with preventing violence by raising awareness of job opportunities for at-risk youth, assisting religious and community groups and organizations whose mission is to curb violence, and coordinating with mental health providers to assure that they are present in communities that need them.
"If we want to reduce violence, we must have the political will to do more than be tough on crime," Representative Ford said. "We must also become a more fair and just society and help meet the needs of every member of our community. This task force will work together with the House Committee on Restorative Justice that I chair to help give people hope and the ability to turn their lives around, which will make our neighborhoods safer."
"Youth violence has devastated our nation as homicide is now the 2nd leading cause of death for youth ages 15 to 29, and the epidemic is particularly rampant in Chicago," Senator Hunter said. "We must act now because more adolescents are killed in Chicago than any other U.S. city is simply unacceptable. We owe it to our children to do our best to protect them."