Ex-Felons Fight Against Chicago’s Violence

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  • Three ex-felons are hitting Chicago’s streets to fight against violent crimes.

    Derrick House, Frederick Seaton and Napoleon English are all too familiar with the city’s violence. Each of them have spent time in prison; two for murder.

    Instead of working against the system, they’ve joined forces with Ceasefire to help prevent the rise of future felons.

    This year, the number of homicides in Chicago shot up 39 percent in the first six months compared to 2011.

    This Friday, the Chicago Police Department and Ceasefire are joining forces to combat the crime.

    Ceasefire began in 2000 as a public health initiative to prevent street violence. The organization was often scrutinized for recruiting ex-felons and gang members into their program.  

    "Eighty percent of the homicides in Chicago are black on black homicides," said Tio Hardiman, the executive director of Ceasefire.

    Hardman grew up in the city’s gang-riddled Henry Horner Housing complex. He believes in the organization’s mission of keeping a guy from “crossing the line.”

    The city has a long history of high homicide numbers. Twenty years ago, Chicago had a total of 900 homicides in one year. 

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel believes that this year’s effort to fight violence is taking a more aggressive approach by boarding up vacant buildings, creating after school programs and using legal RICO statutes to prosecute gang leaders.

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