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Akron Reveals Plan to Reduce Youth Violence by 2023

Jennifer Conn
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and Health Equity Ambassador Tamiyka Rose listen as Summit County Health Commissioner Donna Skoda discusses the city's new youth violence plan.

The city of Akron and several local agencies have joined forces to use a multifaceted approach to curb youth violence.

The Youth Violence Prevention Strategic Plan calls for a 20 percent reduction in violent crime among young adults 15-24 in Akron by 2023.

The plan was created through research, data collection and community conversations over the past two years. It can be amended as needed going forward, said Summit County Health Commissioner Donna Skoda.

“Primary prevention involves what we’ve done in this report, that basic ground-level surveillance that allows us to know where we stand right now so we can track progress over time,” she said. “And if something’s not right we fix it, we stop there and we do something different so the plan becomes a livable, flexible document.”

The plan recommends action steps be taken in eight areas that include:

  • mentoring
  • recreation and discretionary time
  • re-entry support
  • police-youth relations
  • mental health and substance abuse support and treatment
  • gun access reduction
  • community awareness and involvement
  • capacity and infrastructure development

The county health department will coordinate implementation of the plan, which involves nonprofits, recreation departments, the schools, government and law enforcement agencies.