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L.A. prosecutors to be assigned to 10 schools

September 12, 2008|Howard Blume | Times Staff Writer

City prosecutors will become campus-safety specialists in at least nine low-performing middle schools in crime-prone areas, according to an announcement Thursday by L.A. City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo.

The program, which Delgadillo announced at school district headquarters, is an outgrowth of a well-regarded two-year effort at Markham Middle School in Watts.

This year, Markham has registered gains on the state's Academic Performance Index that were higher than the state and school district average. Delgadillo attributed the change to an improved school climate: "Crime is down and test scores are up."

At Markham, prosecutor Michelle McGinnis combined crime-reduction strategies with improvements in the school environment. Among other things, she arranged for the delivery of a washer and dryer to clean school uniforms and distributed free sneakers. After-school programs were also expanded.

Delgadillo later ended the Markham program when the school became part of the mayor's unrelated school initiative. Middle school campuses now taking part in the program include Maclay in Pacoima, Audubon in Leimert Park, Mann in Hyde Park, Wilmington in Wilmington, Cochran in Mid-City, Twain in Mar Vista, Bethune in South Los Angeles, Nightingale in Cypress Park and Burbank in Highland Park.

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howard.blume@latimes.com

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