Cracking Down

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Don’t expect a slap on the wrist. Expect to be watched.

That was the message governor Phil Bredesen had today for youth convicted of gun crimes in Shelby County. He was joined by county mayor A.C. Wharton at the Neighborhood Christian Center on Jackson Avenue, where they announced a new initiative focusing on tougher penalties for violent youth.

The program, made possible by a grant from the state government, would require certain juvenile offenders convicted of gun crimes to be monitored using high-tech ankle bracelets. The grant also allows for probationary counselors that would pop in at the offenders’ homes without prior notice.

“You hear the expression, ‘It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your kids are?’ With this, probation counselors can knock on [juvenile offenders’] doors at 10 p.m.,” said Wharton.

The initiative came in response to 17 children and teens killed this year as a result of gun violence.

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