Blog | October 16, 2019

The Prime Time for Juvenile Crime in Kansas

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.

I know that we have some strong afterschool programs in my community. Unfortunately, with limited funding, these programs are not able to reach all of the youth who would benefit from positive social development, increased supports, and greater opportunities to channel their energy productively.

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids member Donald Ash, Wyandotte County Sheriff

The Prime Time for Juvenile Crime in Kansas

the Prime Time for Juvenile Crime in Kansas

In Kansas, juvenile crime peaks from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with 20 percent of school-day incidences recorded at that time. About 18 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: Spartan Explorers, Emporia

In Emporia, Kansas, the Fifth Judicial District Community Corrections and Emporia High School partnered to create an afterschool program aimed at at-risk high school youth, those involved with the judicial system, truant, or on probation. In the Spartan Explorers afterschool program, high schoolers have the opportunity to take part in engaging and hands-on activities that are unavailable during the school day, such as cooking, pottery, glass blowing, and automotive mechanics. Leadership development is also a central aspect of the program, with program staff working with students to both see themselves as leaders and practice the skills to be a leaders, such as relationship building, goal setting, responsible decision-making, and self-management.

The more I learned about afterschool, the more I saw how it connected with juvenile justice.

Steve Willis, Director of the Fifth Judicial District Community Corrections

Students who attend 85 percent of the program earn half an elective credit and $250 toward court fines. All Spartan Explorers participants received a passing grade in their classes and saw improvements in their school day attendance. Steve Willis, Director of the Fifth Judicial District Community Corrections said, “The more I learned about afterschool, the more I saw how it connected with juvenile justice. Our office knew it was exactly what was needed, a safe place where youth can hang out, try some new things and reconnect with school.”

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  1. Afterschool Programs

States

  1. Kansas