Bloomberg to use own funds for aid program

Aug. 4, 2011 at 8:58 AM
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NEW YORK, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will kick in $30 million of his own money to help fund changes in how the city interacts with at-risk youth, officials said.

The program would overhaul how the government works with young black and Latino men -- a disproportionately undereducated, incarcerated and unemployed segment of the city's population -- to improve their circumstances, The New York Times reported Thursday.

Starting this fall, the Bloomberg administration said it would locate job-recruitment centers in public housing complexes where many young black and Latino men live, retrain and relocate probation officers to try to reduce recidivism, establish fatherhood classes and include academic progress of male black and Latino students in its school assessment.

Despite falling crime rates and rising graduation rates, city officials said African-American and Latino men, especially in the 16-24 age group, rank low by nearly every yardstick, including arrest rates, school suspensions and poverty.

"The magnitude of the disparities is stunning," said Linda I. Gibbs, deputy mayor for health and human services. "It's tragic."

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