BRAVE starts call-in program for violent offenders
BATON ROUGE - The BRAVE initiative in Baton Rouge announced plans today to encourage violent offenders in the city to change their lives.
District Attorney Hillar Moore and BRAVE Director "Tweety" Anny described the initiative, which asked people with violent records to attend the call-in where various services and options were discussed that could help them leave a life of crime.
Moore said BRAVE picked 47 violent offenders to attend the first call-in, and 38 showed up. Five of them agreed to take help from BRAVE.
"That's five people on the street that called, which is good news, because there are many more people on the streets than in prison, in other cities, a few or no [people] take advantage, or make the call, five is a significant step for one day after the call in," said Moore.
BRAVE audited various 'street gangs' in Baton Rouge to get a better idea on who to call in for the program.
"If they were group leaders, influential personnel, then once we broadcast our messages, offered them the services, [the] leader can go back and persuade the others to take part in what we are offering," said Anny.
BRAVE officials say anyone who opts not to take help won't receive leniency if they wind up in front of a judge again.
The BRAVE group was started to combat drug and violent crimes in specific ZIP codes around Baton Rouge. Police report crime is down by some 20 percent since the program began in the 70805 ZIP code.
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