Blog | October 16, 2019

The Prime Time for Juvenile Crime in Indiana

High-quality programs can help prevent crime during afterschool hours and throughout the day

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 Indiana

the Prime Time for Juvenile Crime in Indiana

In Indiana, juvenile crime peaks from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. with 30 percent of school-day incidences recorded at that time. About 17 percent of all juvenile crime on school days falls during the hours following the last school bell from 2 to 6 p.m.

The crime peaks not occurring from 2 to 6 p.m. are largely due to much of law enforcement in those states recording youth criminal activity as having all occurred at only one hour during the day, often noon or midnight. This would artificially inflate the crime rate for that time period.

Program Highlight: RightFit, Indianapolis

RightFit is an afterschool program that strengthens relations between students and public safety officials, prevents childhood obesity, and mitigates the effects of food deserts in the city community. In partnership with the Indiana Public School system (IPS), the Archdiocese of Indiana, and members of the Indianapolis public safety community, RightFit runs afterschool programs in four different elementary schools—two public and two Catholic—for roughly two hours, three nights a week, and serving approximately 500 youth between January and May of each year. Each program site offers homework help and tutoring, elements of physical fitness and nutrition, and an evening meal, while tailoring its programming to meet the individual needs of each school community. Public schools are also able to offer bus rides home for participants to remove barriers that might otherwise inhibit youth involvement in the program.

9 in 10 students and parents reported that they felt safer because of the presence of public safety officials at the program.

One of the key focuses of RightFit is to expose kids to public safety officials in a positive, constructive environment that leads to relationship building between youth and officers. As such, members of the Indianapolis public safety community are heavily involved in RightFit programming. The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the Indiana State Police, and the Indiana National Guard all partner with RightFit to serve as volunteer staff for each of the program’s four sites, where they are able to provide special programming to youth. For example, the Indianapolis Metro Police Department step in as guest presenters for the GREAT (Gang Resistance Education and Training) curriculum and a gun safety program, walking students through what they should do if they find a gun in their community. Whether the officers are serving as tutors and helping the kids with their homework, playing dodgeball to get them moving and active, or taking the time to connect one-on-one with students as mentors, this consistent contact with public safety officers in a productive setting has a clear impact on the kids. Former Superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools, Lewis D. Ferebee remarked, “The unique collaboration between the participating organizations provides an excellent opportunity for our students to have fun, be healthy, and build positive relationships with public safety agencies and officers.” Parents and participants agree, with 88 percent of students and 71 percent of parents feeling that RightFit helped them better understand the importance of public safety, and 9 in 10 students and parents believing they felt safer because of the presence of the public safety officials at the program.

Read More About

  1. Afterschool Programs

States

  1. Indiana