This week, New York State announced a major initiative to put an end to recruiting young people into the MS-13 gang that is present throughout Long Island. In an effort to cut off recruitment, the state is funneling $16 million into a program aiming to protect vulnerable youth in a multi-part program. In addition, $2.5 million will go towards an initiative known as the Gun Involved Violence Elimination initiative.
The program to protect at-risk youth has multiple parts, some of which include the following:
- A $2 million expansion of the Empire State After School Program that aims to keep students involved in sports, art, and music programs after school.
- $5 million will go towards job and training opportunities for out-of-school individuals between the ages of 16 and 24. This will provide employment and vocational training programs as well as tax initiatives for companies to hire these individuals.
- $2 million will go towards providing gang prevention education programs that will educate middle schoolers and high schoolers on the dangers of gangs and how to avoid gang recruitment.
- $3 million will go towards developing comprehensive support services for vulnerable youth, specifically new immigrants that are often the targets of MS-13 recruitment efforts
- $4 million will go towards identifying and responding to gang activity by a State Police Community Assistance Team
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