National Youth Violence Prevention Week kicks off in Chicago

By WEEK Reporter

March 18, 2013 Updated Mar 18, 2013 at 10:25 PM CDT

CHICAGO, Ill. -- Over the past three years, nearly 1,000 children and teens were killed in the State of Illinois by violence.

The latest victim, 6-month-old Jonylah Watkins of Chicago will be laid to rest Tuesday.

Governor Pat Quinn called the infant's death a tragedy as he kicked off National Youth Violence Prevention Week in Chicago Monday.

The Governor compared youth violence to a public health epidemic that can be prevented with proper treatment.

"For instance, there are a lot of things that don't work that people continue to do: Scared Straight, Boot Camps, Gun Buy-Back programs, trying youth as adults in adult court systems. All of those have been proven as ineffective and in fact some are harmful," said IDPH Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. "However, there are a number of things that actually do work: parenting, mentoring, community involvement, investments in schools. Those things do work."

For more tips and resources about youth violence prevention visit www.idph.state.il.us.