Report | October 16, 2019

From Risk to Opportunity: Afterschool Programs Keep Kids Safe

When juvenile crime peaks, high-quality afterschool programs fight crime across the United States

The more than 5,000 law enforcement leaders around the nation who are members of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, have long known that the hours immediately after school lets out, when parents are likely not available to supervise, are the prime-time for juvenile crime. Over the past 20 years, law enforcement leaders across the country have relied on high-quality afterschool programs to provide supportive, stable, and enriching environments with caring adults that keep children and youth out of trouble and safe, while supporting their academic success, and social and emotional development.

The Prime Time for Juvenile Crime in the United States

To determine when exactly juvenile crime peaks, we analyzed both FBI data and data provided by our law enforcement members on school-day crime rates for youth in 46 states. We found that the majority of states for which we had data (36) had a spike in crime during the after school hours from 2 to 6 p.m., as shown in the map below.

2 to 6pm: Still the Prime Time for Juvenile Crime in the United States

The Prime Time for Juvenile Crime by State

Key to afterschool juvenile crime peaks map

Learn more about the Prime Time for Juvenile Crime and get to know some featured afterschool programs in your state.

Unfortunately, millions of our nation’s children each year are unable to reap the benefits of high-quality afterschool programming. Afterschool programming is unavailable for over 19 million children, more than half of whom are low-income, whose parents would enroll them if an afterschool program was available. These young people are missing out on the opportunity to connect with caring adults, develop relationships with peers, explore what interests them, and get additional supports like homework help, healthy snacks and meals, and opportunities for physical activity.