Youth Crime and Urban Policy: A View from the Inner City

By Robert L. Woodson | Go to book overview

Inner City Roundtable of Youth
(ICRY)

NIZAM FATAH

ICRY program clientele is largely composed of youths regarded as program resistant, antisocial, and crime prone. Eighty percent of the youths are categorized as members of street gangs, subculture groups, or motorcycle clubs. Although clients of all ethnic groups are served, the prominent clientele is black and Hispanic males and females age twelve to twenty-five from designated poverty areas.

ICRY represents fifty-nine groups, with an accumulated membership numbering in the thousands. The leadership of these groups sit on the ICRY Roundtable board and function as directors. Most of the efforts are directed to the membership of the groups, and another 20 percent of the services are geared to accommodate unaffiliated clients referred by law enforcement agencies, schools, and social service agencies. The services include: client and family counseling, positive placement analysis and referral, crime-prevention projects, vocational training, communications and public relations, crisis intervention, and legal service liaison.

I came from the Blackstone Rangers in Chicago. I saw the power, the energy, and the misdirection of that particular organization. There are a lot of things that we can do about youth that would eventually have an impact on the country. I think I was one of the first in Chicago with a revolutionary sense of what we could do in terms of the destiny of this country, how we could make it live up to its advertisements-- freedom, justice for all, that type of thing. Well, Mayor Daley decided that I should leave town, and I did. I went to New York; I was working, earning about twenty-nine grand, and I had never made that much without going to prison for it. I didn't like the job; it was a ripoff program. That bothered me, so I decided to quit. The lawyer asked what I would do in terms of community development if I did quit. I said I'd either work with the women or the youth because I think that this

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