Child Crime Prevention & Safety Center

School / Education

A significant part of a child’s life revolves around school. Because of this, there are a number of issues that can affect a child while at school. Recent efforts have been made to highlight the issue of bullying, both in person and online, and many organizations work to prevent children from being the victim of bullies. Crime at school can affect both the victims and perpetrators and has a significant impact on a child’s academic and social development. Increasingly, local law enforcement will work closely with parents, teachers and school administrators to ensure that problems are identified and that school zones remain a safe environment for children to learn and develop.

Additionally, after-school programs have been shown to reduce crime in juveniles by providing positive substitutes to drugs and other lures of the gang life during the hours that most juvenile crime is committed. The critical hours when the majority of juvenile crime are committed is on school days between 2 pm and 6 pm. These peak hours are usually when juveniles engage in violent crimes, smoking, alcohol consumption, drug use, reckless driving and gang-related activity.

It has been reported that children between the ages of twelve and seventeen years of age that are left unsupervised for three or more days out of the week are two times more likely to hang out and associate with gang members. That same age group of twelve to seventeen-year-olds is also three times more likely to commit crimes, and also three times more likely to engage in drug use. Evidence shows that those juveniles who participate in quality after-school programs are more likely to graduate from high school, have higher test scores, and reduced dropout rates.

A 2006 survey of teens reported that nearly three out of every ten juveniles from the age of twelve to seventeen are left unsupervised for more than three days out of the week. Although after-school programs have a proven track record of reducing crime and reducing gang recruitment students who live in low-income areas suffer from underfunded after-school programs which severely undermines the program’s effectiveness. Communities made up of working-class families account for the over 3,000 schools that lack state or federal funded after-school programs.

Despite the best efforts of schools, education, and various after-school programs, juvenile crime and gang recruitment is still a persistent problem in many communities. Because of the limited hours that schools have and the limited resources that after-school programs have, juveniles are still becoming actively involved in criminal activity and gang life. Since it is becoming more abundantly clear that peak hours for juvenile crime begins after school ends community resources in the form of law enforcement have become hypervigilant in reducing this criminal activity. Police attempt to do this by deterring juvenile criminal conduct by detaining and arresting suspected juvenile offenders. Should your child get detained or arrested it is imperative that you contact an experienced juvenile defense attorney as soon as possible.