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Communities are Safe for Children, Youth and Families (Anne Arundel County)

Local Indicator: Fatal Shootings of youth age 24 and under in Annapolis

Current Value




Line Bar Comparison

Story Behind the Curve

Completed with Annapolis Collaborative for Change work group

  • High levels of racial tension in communities of color since 2016 elections
  • One of highest rates of public housing per capita in Annapolis for the nation
  • Inter-neighborhood conflicts
  • High rates of drug use/drug sales
  • Even when dealers are imprisoned, there are still "turf" conflicts between neighborhoods
  • "stay in your lane"
  • Large Latinx population - MS 13 (though they use knives more than guns)
  • Sometimes people just disappear - contracts out, running away from violence, people murdered but bodies are hidden
  • Most of the violence happens inside public and subsidized housing
  • Lack of affordable housing makes it hard for people to break away from public housing
  • Huge gap between haves and have-nots
  • All Housing Authority youth are in the same feeder so they all end up in the same high school - so violence trickles over from neighborhood to school which impacts kids academic outcomes and ability to engage in school
  • Schools not safe - contributes to kids not going to school
  • Lots of single, female head of household or are being cared by kinship caregivers - families lack support
  • Neighborhood crews vs. true "gangs" - Intergenerational conflicts
  • Lots of younger parents now that lack skills/tools to parent effectively
  • Single mom's working multiple jobs to meet basic needs but then they are not able to be around as much for their kids
  • Economics and housing costs in the County make it hard to transition out of public/subsidized housing
  • People are afraid to leave Annapolis even if they could move out of the neighborhood - family has been there for generations, feels comfortable/safe
  • Lack of transportation also makes it really hard - if you work in Annapolis moving to an area outside of 
  • Need a car in most parts of the county - but lot's of barriers! Drivers Ed, cost of purchasing a car, insurance, gas, etc.
  • Housing models re: cost make mobility hard - increase in income changes rent which makes it hard to save
  • High cost of 
  • Federal poverty level is so low and families above that line - even 200% of FPL isn't really financially stable
  • Many families living paycheck to paycheck which creates no opportunity for saving and makes them vulnerable to even small issues (payday loans, "owe" people that helped you in the neighborhood)
  • Drug trade/competition contributes to the riffs/battles between neighborhoods
  • Dealers from Baltimore/DC coming down and preying on single moms as ways to move in to these neighborhoods - easy markets
  • Heroine, PCP, marijuana all big in sales but people often buying the drugs are from outside the community
  • "Tennis shoe dealers" - small dealers just making enough money to buy shoes
  • Drug trade is a more appealing economic opportunity for a lot of the young people in the community - why work at McDonalds for $8 if they can make more selling drugs?
  • And what happens when these young men go to prison/jail and try to come back into the community? Lots of barriers, lots of things that contribute to recidivism, lack of supports. Almost seems recidivism is inevitable.
  • Viable means for supporting a family despite the risks. 
  • So many of these young men do not expect to live beyond 25 but feel like this is the best option they have available
  • Institutional and systemic racism stacks the deck against young men of colors
  • Many want to do better but don't know how - or really can't - break the cycle
  • Lack of access to supports can often make smaller offenses (fines, court costs, etc.) snowball into huge amounts of money, bench warrents, jail time which is a dangerous path
  • Lack of lifeskills education in elementary/middle schools to help give kids tools to prepare for "the real world" - be able to envision their futures and see the impact their choices have
  • Lack of opportunities and pathways other than college - need trade schools, skilled training, etc. Votech has limited capacity and is hard to access.
  • Mental health issues - lack of supports but also cultural taboos around getting help


  • Police Departments (County, City)
  • School system
  • AACC
  • DJS
  • The Partnership
  • Parole & Probation
  • Newtowne 20 CDC
  • Mental Health and Substance Use Providers
  • Medical Care providers (Hospitals, doctors, etc.)
  • Health Dept.
  • Faith Community
  • The Whole Village!
  • Local programs serving youth – Black Wall Street, Seeds 4 Success, etc.
  • Trade Organizations/Unions
  • AAWDC - YouthWorks programming
  • Library 
  • Local governments/elected officials
  • DSS
  • HACA and HCAAC
  • Center of Help (Centro de Ayuda)
  • OIC

What Works

  • Mentoring
  • Legal Aid - expungements, fines, tickets, wills, etc.
  • Case management
  • Need better public transportation access/model
  • Facilitated discussions/mediation - train trusted mediators from inside these communities
  • Community policing strategies to help rebuild trust 
  • Programming for youth to encourage healthy choices, provide pathways outside of gangs for success
  • Increase staffing of police to help ensure they have time to get to know their communities
  • Access to training programs, apprenticeships, skilled trades, etc. creates future path and opportunity for economic stability (one job vs. many jobs vs. drug trade)
  • Encourage policies in County agencies and local employers to be more accommodating of people's histories (a criminal offense not to be a barrier to future opportunities)
  • Better policies overall to remove barriers for people re-entering community after imprisonment
  • More comprehensive release/re-entry programs to help people navigate re-entry
  • Increase treatment options/access for mental health and substance use and abuse
  • More treatment options where both private insurance and medicaid are accepted


Data Discussion

Research Agenda

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