When conversations about curbing crime begin, fingers almost immediately point to youth... After all, we've seen crime after crime where a young person was somehow involved.
It starts at birth. That's what Lauderdale County youth judge Veldore Young says when it comes to encouraging youth to make good decisions. After all, she says this is everyone's community and everyone is a stakeholder...
"And we've got to do what we can as a stakeholder in this to make it all work," she says. "These are going to be the leaders of our community one day. And we need them to be equipped to handle the things that they need to handle."
Unfortunately, there have been many instances where local crimes are committed by youth offenders... That can sometimes make it difficult to be successful in the future... So, what can be done to prevent this type of thing?
"That's the million dollar question. But what I suggest is that we understand the oh Adam, it does take a community and we all have to come together... If I see your child and your child needs correcting, then by all means, I should certainly feel like it's okay to correct that child and vice versa, if someone sees mine. It takes a community to make it work. It takes a village concept," she says.
Judge Young says steps need to be taken at all times to help push youth forward. And not just during meetings or during specified times. She tells me it is important to be encouraging throughout it all though. As for those who choose to make bad decisions.
"I would tell them that crime doesn't pay," she says. "That the law is geared towards penalizing more than it is rehabilitating. And that if there is anything that I can do or any member of this community can do to help them, I would suggest that they go to them and let them know what they are involved in. And see if we can come up with some solutions for them."