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Youth mentor who experienced prison life shares why he's tackling juvenile crime

“When it came to men it didn’t feel like there was enough help out there," said dad John Hamer.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee — The big question when it comes to city crime is will solutions at community forums fill gaps in policing.

Tuesday, Collierville officers fired shots at three teens who were reportedly shoplifting.

Detrick Saulter, a father, who grew up without one, is focused on being part of the crime solution. His past experience behind bars motivated him to make sure he prevented others, especially youth, from entering that lifestyle.

“We were doing music, in the midst of us doing music we started doing drugs," shared non-profit founder Detrick Saulter. "I got into selling drugs to the people we were doing music with.

Saulter’s troubles as a younger man began after he lost his job.

“I got caught doing that, went to federal prison.”

He said the influence was money.

"I needed to make some money to take care of my daughter but really, in reality, it was just me being selfish,” Saulter explained. 

While in prison he noticed a common denominator.

“Most of the people there didn’t have a father figure,” the founder said. 

Before Saulter was released, he had the idea to found F.A.T.H.E.R.S – a non-profit with the mission of saving kids and helping their dads do the same.

“When it came to men it didn’t feel like there was enough help out there," said John Hamer, who's taken part in the foundation. "It takes a village you know to actually raise these children.”

Saulter believes isolation and increased social media are some of the main broken links when it comes to tackling youth crime.

“Most of the situations that I’ve come across with these kids is they don’t have a lot of supervision," Saulter explained. "They really are just acting out what they’re seeing, especially with the shootings. Like they think they’re going to get another life.”

Saulter also said with low parental supervision makes matters worse.

“If you create another human being it’s your responsibility to guide them," Saulter added. "We’re seeing that people are not being responsible for what they create.”

The Crime Commission Forum on Juvenile Crime is happening Saturday at New Salem Baptist Church (2237 South Parkway East). 

It takes place from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon.

Panelists include the TN Department of Children’s Services Deputy Commissioner Darren Goods, Juvenile Court Judge Tarik Sugarman, Memphis Police Department Chief C.J. Davis, and Susan Deason of Memphis Allies. 

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