ON-Lion Letter
One in five gun crimes involves a juvenile offender.  So when juveniles in Milwaukee are charged with possession of a firearm, what happens?  If the court orders intervention, they often end up on the doorstep of the Running Rebels Community Organization -- a local nonprofit that annually provides more than 2,500 at-risk youth with positive alternatives to violence, gangs, and substance abuse.

For more than a decade, Running Rebels has partnered with the Juvenile Court system to help youth as young as 12-years-old found with a firearm (or considered a Serious Chronic Offender) through an intensive monitoring program.

In February, Running Rebels said that since 1998, it has helped nearly 900 young people stay in their communities, instead of in state corrections facilities at taxpayer expense.  The group estimates that it has thus saved taxpayers about $64 million.

At the same time, Running Rebels kicked off a provocative new ad campaign on gun-violence prevention, created by Serve Marketing, to help attract more financial support for the organization's intervention tactics.  The campaign, "I Can Stop a Speeding Bullet," features personal stories of Running Rebels members.

"The reality is that 100% of the youth in the court-ordered program will return to the community," according to Running Rebels founder Victor Barnett.  "That is why Running Rebels focuses on the individual -- not just the gun. In addition to intensive monitoring, kids find life-long mentors, a safe place to go after school, and positive ways to express themselves through sports or music.  They often become a Rebel for life."

Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation supports Running Rebels.
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