Project Milwaukee: Youth Violence

Spring of 2008, Lake Effect and WUWM News journalists teamed up to examine the deep roots of youth violence in Milwaukee, along with possible solutions.



From May 29 to June 6, 2008, WUWM explored youth violence through more than 30 radio reports and a community forum. These reports introduced listeners to children who live with violence, as well as those who are perpetrators of violent crimes. WUWM also looked at the economics of violence, and how it affects the entire community. The stories and interviews featured both the causes and the solutions to the problem.

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Project Milwaukee
6:06 pm
Tue June 3, 2008

It's Easy to Get a Gun

It’s illegal for children to purchase a handgun or even possess one, unless they’re involved in a supervised activity. Yet in Milwaukee, as in other cities, some young people have easy access to guns and actually carry and use them. In this installment of Project Milwaukee: Youth Violence, WUWM's Marge Pitrof explores how young people get their hands on firearms and why some children want them.

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Project Milwaukee
5:39 pm
Tue June 3, 2008

Societal Causes of Milwaukee Gangs

Graffiti marks the death of a gang member on the near north side of Milwaukee.

In some dangerous neighborhoods of Milwaukee, it seems as if there's a roadside memorial every other block. The stuffed animals, votive candles, photos, and bottles of liquor are left at a tree, in honor of someone who died of gang violence. Often the victims and perpetrators of gang crimes are teenagers. Experts say that's a sharp contrast to 30 years ago, when gangs were almost non-existent here.

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Project Milawaukee
6:03 pm
Mon June 2, 2008

Violence in the Neighborhood

Willie Hines, Jr. is president of the Milwaukee Common Council. He represents the city’s 15th district on the near north side, where he grew up. He discusses youth violence with Jane Hampden.

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Project Milwaukee
6:00 pm
Mon June 2, 2008

Stop Teen Violence

Joy Price is young adult librarian and coordinator of the Stop Teen Violence program at the Milwaukee Public Library. There's a seminar tonight at the Forest Home Library called “Protect Yourself.” Speakers will discuss safe relationships, conflict resolution and self defense. Price speaks with Jane Hampden.

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Project Milwaukee
5:57 pm
Mon June 2, 2008

Juvenile Offenders Say Violence Way of Life in Milwaukee

Chain-link fences and razor wire surround Ethan Allen School, the state's most secure prison for boys

This week on WUWM, we’re looking at the issue of youth violence as part of our special Project Milwaukee series. Many young people from Milwaukee who are convicted of violent crimes do their time at Ethan Allen School near Wales, just west of Waukesha. It’s Wisconsin’s most secure prison for boys. Three inmates from Milwaukee say growing up around violence led them to where they are today.

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Project Milwaukee
5:49 pm
Mon June 2, 2008

Violence Across the Generations

Incarcerated Moms: Sheila, Johanna, Sharon, Corrie

We continue to discuss the causes and possible solutions to youth violence in our community. Today we explore the possible generational connection between violent parents and their children.

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Project Milwaukee
5:29 pm
Fri May 30, 2008

Life After Gangs

Stanley Cole is a youth outreach worker with Milwaukee’s Running Rebels organization. He’s a former gang member who spent time in jail. Since then, he’s recruited and worked with hundreds of at-risk young people in Milwaukee, and gained national attention for his efforts. He talks with Jane Hampden.

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Project Milwaukee
5:26 pm
Fri May 30, 2008

A World of Gangs

John Hagedorn of Milwaukee is an associate professor of criminal justice and senior research fellow at the University of Illinois-Chicago’s Great Cities Institute. His new book is A World of Gangs: Armed Young Men and Gangsta Culture. He speaks with Jane Hampden.

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Project Milwaukee
5:15 pm
Fri May 30, 2008

A Deadly Change: Guns Replace Fists in Youth Fights

Youth violence often refers to assaults. All too often, those fights include the use of a gun.UWM criminologist and psychologist Will Pelfrey says parts of Milwaukee have been plagued by gun violence in recent years.

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Project Milwaukee
5:12 pm
Fri May 30, 2008

Girls No Strangers to Violence

As we continue our series on youth violence in Milwaukee, we meet with five local teenage girls who’ve had first-hand experience with violence, in their case, fighting. Their names are Maria, Jasmine, Kwan, Denise and Destiny, and they’re either 16 or 17 years old. Four of the five admit being violent toward people they don’t like.

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