The issue of juvenile crimes has been of great concern to many people in the American society. Despite putting in place various programs to see that crime rates among juveniles are reduced, many juvenile courts and recreational centers have reported increased cases of dealing with juvenile delinquency. It thus leaves one wondering if the programs that are in place to control and deal with the juvenile delinquency cases are the ones failing or if it’s the society that has failed completely to give the required direction to the youths.
There are many cases that have been reported as the main causes of juvenile delinquency. The major causes being attributed to the environment the child is raised. It has been a tradition that juvenile delinquencies are locked up in juvenile prisons as a way of recreating them. However, it has turned out that by locking up the kids, instead of achieving the best results of a rehabilitated child, the results are usually worse than putting in place programs that are family and community based.
Therefore, instead of the program of locking up children rehabilitating them, it leads to increased recidivism (Virginia Youth Violence Project, School of Education, University of Virginia, n. d). It is thus important that for Nashville TN to focus her effort in using evidence- based practices that have been reported to reduce juvenile delinquency. Such programs ensure that the children are safe, and thus the family and the entire society. It is thus important to apply programs that have a successful track record that would ensure a safe society in the long run and not just for a short period.
It is also important to understand that juvenile delinquencies can be prevented and those already considered to be delinquents can be rehabilitated. There are thus many effective programs that can be used in Nashville, TN and even in other states. Children spends most their time in school than at home. It is thus important to note school based programs can be very effective tools to be used for preventing and rehabilitating juvenile delinquencies. There are many school based programs that can be applied effectively in dealing with child criminal activities.
However, social competence programs have been found to have more positive results. One way of doing this is by giving teachers lesson plans in which they teach students how they should handle peer conflict and come up with better solutions. In these lessons, students are taught communication skills that would help them in handling criticism and give their opinions in a way that would not provoke others. In peer resolving programs, some students are taught to act as mediators incase of peer conflicts (Virginia Youth Violence Project, School of Education, University of Virginia, n.
d). For a school based program to be more effective, it is critical to look into the implementation measure. For more effectiveness to be realized, the programs need to be fully implemented. The programs that are given more attention are basically more successful than those that are only operated on routine conditions. The law enforcers in Nashville TN have come to the conclusion that youths mostly commit crimes on school days between 3 to 6 pm.
This is basically because at this time, the children are not under the super vision of the teachers, and considering that most parents in the area are at work during this time, children are left to take care of themselves. A high percentage of children have been found to be alone at home without any supervision for many hours before or after school. Therefore, this time has been found to be the peak time for children to be involved in criminal activities, or they become victims of criminal activities.
To avoid this, there can be after school programs that can be effectively used to make children be involved in some constructive activities that might destruct them from being idle and engaging in criminal activities or rather being victims. Several researches have shown that children who are engaged in various activities are less likely to be involved in criminal activities like drug abuse and stealing than those who are not engaged in any activity (Ramsey, Rust and Sobel, 2003).
After school programs is one best program that can be applied by the schools and the community to safeguard the children and the entire community. The program is aimed at providing care to the children while at the same time broadening their learning opportunities. According to the statistics provided by the FBI, it has been shown that in the first hour after the school time, the rate of crime is found to triple among the juveniles (The Advocate, 2006). It is in fact higher in the after noon and evening time.
To reduce or completely avoid this kind of cases, it is better to engage the children in the after school programs. Looking at road crashes that are reported to be caused by youths, they are reported mostly to have taken place between 4 and 6p. m. (The Advocate, 2006). It has been found that by using after school programs, the state saves a lot of money while at the same time as the programs keep the children and youths busy, it inculcates positive behaviors in them.
There are many cultural activities that children can be exposed to when involved in the after schools programs which they might never have known if they were not involved. Those who participate in these programs are generally found to abide to laws and more important be sexually responsible. Furthermore, it has been found that those in the after schools program are less likely to be involved in drug activities, drinking, smoking and under age sexual activities. While implementing these programs, care has to be taken to ensure that they become successful programs and not a failure.
Some of the programs can be carried out in such a manner that they show that there is either a reward for participating or punishment for not participating. This might not bring out the best results since such kids might not internalize the rules of behaviors required, hence without the necessary supervision, or when the reward is removed, the kids take less or no participation in the activities (McCord, et al, 2001). It is thus important that the after schools program should even be undertaken in a mode that might show that all the kids are winners.
In conclusion, Nashville TN should try as much as possible to use preventive measures that can avoid kids from involving in delinquent activities than having to wait to lock them in recreation centers. This mode has been found to fail since there is a constant increased number of delinquents being locked up in prisons, and recidivism is as well high, yet it is aimed at reducing the number youth committed crimes in the society. Reference: McCord, J. , et al (2001). Juvenile Crime, Juvenile Justice: Panel on Juvenile Crime: Prevention, Treatment, and Control; ISBN 0309068428, National Academies Press,
Ramsey, A. L. , Rust, J, O. , & Sobel, M. S. (2003). Evaluation of the Gang Resistance and Training (GREAT) Program: A School-Based Prevention Program, Journal of Education, Vol. 124, The Advocate. (2006). After-School Issue, retrieved on February 10th 2009 from http://www. tennessee. gov/tccy/adv0604. pdf. Vol. 16 No. 1 Virginia Youth Violence Project, School of Education, University of Virginia (n. d). Youth Violence Prevention Works! Retrieved on February 10th 2009 from http://youthviolence. edschool. virginia. edu/prevention/prevention-works. htm.