In New York City, almost twice the number of teenagers were arrested and charged with murder in 2022 compared to 2018 and the rate at which teens were charged with homicide doubled that of adults.
The New York Times reports that forty-five teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 were charged with murder in 2022 according to New York's Division of Criminal Justice Services and Patrice O’Shaughnessy, the communications director for the district attorney in the Bronx, said these teens "came out of quarantine with scores to settle."
In 2022, the Bronx district attorney's office charged 26 young people between the ages of 10 and 19 with homicide.
A professor at the University of Virginia and clinical psychologist, Joseph Allen, said that the covid pandemic acted as a "short circuit" for adolescents. Allen said, "It's like if you took all the calcium out of someone's diet during a growth spurt."
"They might survive, but there would be a real risk of bones breaking. And that’s what we’re seeing," Allen added.
According to the New York Times, violence in general has increased post-pandemic and education and law enforcement officials point to many conflicts having started online and then growing out into reality.
Covid's impact on school attendance and performance and how it has disrupted teenagers has also been one of the factors causing an increase in violence. Student enrollment has been down nearly 10 percent since the start of the Covid pandemic.
Teenagers being charged with murder has been more prevalent in poor communities and "all the teenagers charged with murder in New York City last year were Black or Hispanic, according to state data," the New York Times reports.
Derick Latif Scott works as the director of Operation HOOD (Helping Our Own Develop), "a violence reduction program that operates programs for young people." Scott said the city needs more community centers that can be accessible to teens and said, "So what do you want these kids to do? Swing on the scaffolding, break their neck?"
One program, Saturday Night Lights, has started meeting in city gyms and offering programs for you between the ages of 11 and 18.
A deputy with the NYPD who works on community partnerships, Chauncey Parker, said such programs are the "key" to addressing teen violence.
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