It’s becoming increasingly dangerous to be a child in Indiana. Statistics released by the Indiana Youth Institute show Indiana saw a sharp increase in homicides among children and teenagers.
Youth violence seems largely concentrated in Indiana’s more populated areas, around Gary, Fort Wayne and Indianapolis. The number of homicide deaths among those 19 and younger jumped from 35 in 2012 to 65 in 2013, with 73.1 percent of those deaths coming in Marion, Lake and Allen counties.
The institute's interim CEO and president, Glenn Augustine, called the statistics alarming.
Teenagers committing murder rose in 2012 and 2013, after two years of declining. Gang membership may be one cause, it’s up 11 percent among teens with many kids being recruited at age 14. Nearly a fifth of high school students regularly carry a weapon.
The statistic show homicide was the top cause of death among blacks ages 15 to 24, with 105 deaths. Accidents were the second leading cause with 32, followed by suicide with 10 and fourth was death by a law enforcement officer, with four. Among both whites and Hispanics, accidents were the leading cause of death, followed by suicide and homicide.
The annual Kids Count shows one in 10 parents say their kids are growing up in unsafe neighborhoods, with rates much higher among Hispanic and black parents. That means less time for kids to play outside, and dangerous walks to school.
Kids Count found seven in 10 kids have witnessed violence.
This article is by WFYI's Ryan Delaney and the Associated Press.