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According to national statistics, the likelihood that someone will be arrested for a crime tends to increase beginning in late childhood, peak in the teenage years (from 15 to 19) and then decline in the early 20s. In addition, most of the violence committed by people in this age group is directed at victims of the same age, and the age period of 16-24 is a high-risk time for violent victimization, according to the National Institute of Justice.

Studies have shown that intervention programs can reduce the amount of crime committed by young people -- from home visits to parenting education for families of young children to programs programs for juvenile offenders. The National Institute of Justice has also found that "the financial benefits of intervention programs often outweigh the costs."

While these studies are national or even international in scope, the City of Hampton is taking a personalized, individualized effort to utilize and implement the best approaches to prevent our youth from becoming violent offenders. This approach involves staff in departments throughout the city and attempts to coordinate efforts with non-profits, neighborhood groups and faith organizations making similar progress.

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