Youth link to crime being studied in Macon-Bibb

Macon-Bibb County is putting youth offenders under the microscope to find out how much they influence property crimes, drugs and gang-related incidents.

The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office is enlisting the help of the Department of Justice to collect data and assess public safety, education, juvenile justice, gangs and drug issues for up to eight months, according to a Macon-Bibb news release.

The Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs Diagnostic Center will work with deputies to develop intervention strategies.

Sheriff David Davis said the center’s expertise in evaluating case studies could enhance existing crime prevention strategies and youth outreach programs.

“Macon is a dynamic and progressive community,” Davis said in the release. “Consolidation (of Macon and Bibb County) has brought about a new synergy amongst community partners which will bring about great things.”

The partnership with the federal agency is part of the White House Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative, or SC2, that included Macon-Bibb in its program in 2014.

“The work of our SC2 Team and the Office of Justice Programs will only help to strengthen our prevention initiatives to help keep our youth on the right track to success,” Davis said.

Mayor Robert Reichert said with consolidation and the support of the SC2 team, “we have the chance to take a new look at the issues our community faces and find new and innovative solutions to overcome them.”

The community’s assessment could help Macon-Bibb compete for Justice Department grant applications, the release stated.