Brief | April 30, 2018

The Prime Time for Juvenile Crime Needs Afterschool

High-quality afterschool programs provide safe learning environments and can reduce crime

Juveniles are most likely to commit and be the victims of violent crimes during the hours immediately after the school day ends. High-quality afterschool programs such as 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLCs) provide students with safe learning environments during non-school hours. 21st CCLCs support out-of-school programs for children at high-poverty, low performing schools across the nation and in all U.S. territories.

Over 10 million students currently participate in afterschool programs, including 1.6 million in programs funded by 21st CCLC grants. But more than 19 million at-risk kids still do not have access to an afterschool program despite qualifying for one.

Afterschool programs are cost-effective, saving at least $3 for every $1 invested by increasing children’s future earning potential, improving their performance at school, and reducing crime and welfare costs.

Research indicates that high-quality afterschool programs have short-term and long-term academic and behavioral benefits, including reduced crime. A meta-analysis of 75 studies and 68 afterschool programs across the country found significant improvements in students’ behavior in and outside of the classroom.

High-quality afterschool programs can improve students’ academic performance, behavior, and help reduce crime by providing a safe, supervised environment during the hours kids are most likely to commit or become a victim of violent crime. This factsheet goes into further details on the importance of continuing to support high-quality afterschool programs.

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