MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As the special session standoff continues on gun reform and mental health, House Speaker Cameron Sexton is now setting his sights on juvenile crime, especially in Memphis.

“I can tell you the House stands with Memphis in trying to solve juvenile crime and make the streets safer,” Sexton said.

Sexton says Shelby County Juvenile Court programs are not working to reduce crime.

“There have been 7,600 crimes in the last 12 months in Memphis and Shelby County that juveniles have committed and been charged with,” Sexton said.

Sexton partially blames state senators for not providing funding for programs to make college campuses like the University of Memphis more secure.

“I’m disappointed in a few senators that are scattered across our state who say Memphis is not important enough, Shelby County isn’t important enough, victims are not important enough, and citizens aren’t important enough to give Memphis the tool to return their community back to being a safe community,” Sexton said.

He also took aim at Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy for a rise in crime.

“When General Mulroy came into office, juvenile crime almost doubled immediately the next month because of the approach he wants to go,” Sexton said. “Juvenile crime is bleeding out. It’s now into the suburbs of Shelby County and into the adjacent counties, as well.”

During a Tuesday news conference on the video of the traffic that led to the death of Jarveon Hudspeth, Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy was asked about the special session on public safety and gun reform and said he was disappointed with the outcome.

“When I first heard the session was going to be held, I had cautious optimism because I thought after years of inaction that finally the state legislature would do something about sensible gun regulation,” Mulroy said, “and I’m disappointed now that I see the governor’s call list includes everything but that.”

Mulroy released a statement in response to Sexton Friday:

“I agree there are public safety concerns in Shelby County, which is why our office prioritizes prosecuting violent crimes. However, I need clarification on where House Speaker Sexton is getting his information related to juvenile crime data.

Our office receives regular reports from the Memphis Crime Commission. The latest one shows that juvenile arrests dropped 20.2 percent in the first six months of this year compared to last year- suggesting that juvenile arrests have dropped since I took office.

The Speaker also mentions that crime increased the month after I took office. There is little of a significant change that any DA can make in just one month of office.

The Speaker is misinformed. I welcome the opportunity to meet with him to discuss these concerns and the data.”

But the two agree on what’s called blended sentencing. It’s where a juvenile offender could get a sentence that combines a juvenile court punishment with adult prison time.

“There are things being discussed in the special legislative session that I think are probably a good idea. Blended sentencing for juveniles in Juvenile Court is one such idea,” Mulroy said.

Sexton says he’s visited Memphis about five times in the last four months to talk with stakeholders, the mayor, and the faith-based community to find solutions to the city’s juvenile crime problem.

“If we don’t get the juveniles the help they need, whether it’s rehabilitation and programming or holding them accountable for the crimes they commit, trying to get their lives turned around, it’s not going to work,” Sexton said.