After School: Still the Prime Time for Juvenile Crime in the District of Columbia
Afterschool Fights Crime in the District of Columbia
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 District of Columbia
In the District of Columbia, juvenile crime peaks between 2-6 p.m. on school days, with about 47 percent of all juvenile crime on those days occurring during the hours following the last school bell.
Program Highlight: Latin American Youth Center, D.C.
The Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) was established 1968 in response to the lack of afterschool and summer learning opportunities for D.C.’s growing Latino community. Over the course of the organization’s more than 50 years, it has expanded its programming to include job training programs, counseling services, charter schools, a residential facility, transitional living programs, and more.
LAYC staff gave him the greatest gift, which was to listen to him and help him become a success in school and life.
Profile of LAYC alumnus, Jeffery
For teenagers in the D.C. area, LAYC developed their DC Teen Center, which is open four days during the week after school. The Teen Center provides students a wide variety of programs on topics including leadership and advocacy, cybersecurity, cooking and nutrition, and painting and graffiti art. Another aspect of the Teen Center is The Club, a leadership program aimed at youth either in a gang, involved with the juvenile justice system, or at risk of engaging in such activities. Helping connect youth to their community, promoting accountability, teaching conflict resolution skills, and providing supportive mentors, The Club works to help youth make positive decisions in their life. In a profile of Jeffery, an alumnus of the Teen Center and The Club, he, “…calls LAYC his second home and says that LAYC staff gave him the greatest gift, which was to listen to him and help him become a success in school and life.”
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