After School: Still the Prime Time for Juvenile Crime in Missouri
Afterschool Fights Crime in Missouri
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.
Law enforcement leaders have long supported afterschool programs as a proven crime prevention method. Whether kids are building robots or building relationships through a police athletic league, quality afterschool programming keeps them engaged and safe during the ‘Prime Time for Juvenile Crime.’
Fight Crime: Invest in Kids member Colonel Greg Moore, Moline Acres Police Chief
The Prime Time for Juvenile Crime in Missouri
In Missouri, juvenile crime peaks between 2-6 p.m. on school days, with about 26 percent of all juvenile crime on those days occurring during the hours following the last school bell.
Program Highlight: 4-H Club, Greene County
Each year, the Greene County Juvenile Office receives between 1,400 and 1,600 referrals for delinquency violations and status offenses. As a strategy to prevent formal involvement with the juvenile court system and ultimately reduce recidivism for youth involved in less serious offenses—such as truancy, or first-time offenders, the Greene County Juvenile Justice Center has created a series of diversionary programs for youth. Afterschool programs like GEMS (Girls Empowering Minds and Spirits), which focuses on building strong and confident girls, and the Homework Assistance Program, which provides tutoring and additional enrichment opportunities, promote positive youth development and community engagement.
Preventing only one person from being incarcerated in our jail at the current cost of $63 per day, we would recoup the $16,000 county investment in this venture in 254 days.
Greene County Commissioner Harold Bengsch
The newest afterschool program, a 4-H Club, grew out of a partnership between the Green County Juvenile Justice Center and University of Missouri Extension. Students court-ordered to attend the Green County Youth Academy (GCYA), a community based treatment program, will attend school at GCYA during the day and have the opportunity to participate in 4-H Club after school. The variety of activities offered in the afterschool program include sewing, gardening, robotics, cooking, and leadership building. Greene County Commissioner Harold Bengsch spoke to the economic benefit of keeping youth out of trouble, saying, “Preventing only one person from being incarcerated in our jail at the current cost of $63 per day, we would recoup the $16,000 county investment in this venture in 254 days.”
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