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Inmates Get Involved In Youth Confinement Prevention

Inmates and former inmates will voice their ideas to battle youth incarceration at a community forum on Friday.
LITTLE ROCK, AR- Youth Confinement, it's a big problem in Arkansas and now inmates are stepping in to help. The number of young people landing behind bars jumped 20 percent this year. Now inmates are hoping to stop that trend by voicing their concerns at a community meeting on Friday.

"The only thing I've seen is negative you know?" said Latavious Murry, former inmate.

Latavious Murry, 20, grew up in some of Little Rock's crime-plagued neighborhoods. He said they were filled with negative opportunities that landed him in and out of prison since he was 16-years-old.

"I didn't have people on me, like go to school, do this so you can become this, do the right thing," explained Murry.

Murray said growing up was a struggle. He tried to find ways to support his family by getting into drugs and hanging around the wrong crowd. Looking back, Murray wished he had someone guiding him down the right path. Now he wants to be that role model for youngsters who are lost.

"They have no love or support from their families, so they feel like they're all alone," said Murry.

Murry and other inmates want to let kids know that they are not alone, that there is help in the community. He has a plan to ensure Little Rock's youth gets the message.

"Come together and just walk the neighborhood, get names and young brothers, and bring them together and talk, it would help out a lot," said Murry.

For him, that outlet was at the Empowerment Center in Little Rock. The center provides former inmates with counseling, treatment and getting them back on their feet. Deborah Bell with the center said Friday's open forum will be a proactive approach.

"Try to find some ways to have some out comes and not just sit around and talk about the problem," said Deborah Bell.

"Show them positive stuff, they'll know positive stuff," said Murry.

Inmates and former inmates will talk to the community Friday July 26th from 8:30am - 4:00pm. It will be held at Our Lady of Good Counsel on 12th and Jackson Street in Little Rock.

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