Blog | October 16, 2019

After School: Still the Prime Time for Juvenile Crime in Pennsylvania

Afterschool Fights Crime in Pennsylvania

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 Pennsylvania

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

In Pennsylvania, juvenile crime peaks between 2-6 p.m. on school days, with about 25 percent of all juvenile crime on those days occurring during the hours following the last school bell.

Program Highlight: The Bridge, Philadelphia

In 2011, The Bridge became one of six organizations to partner with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to offer Intensive Prevention Services (IPS) programming to youth involved or at-risk of being involved with the juvenile justice system. Philadelphia youth (ages 10 to 19), who have been referred by their family or the court system, can rely on The Bridge’s IPS program to provide a safe environment with access to a wide range of supports such as mentoring, community service, academic enrichment, work-readiness activities, and social and emotional competency building. The IPS program values a child-specific intervention approach and ensures that afterschool programming is supplemented with in-home case management services and counseling for students and their families.

Of the 1,171 students diverted between 2014 and 2018, 86 percent have remained arrest-free.

Evaluation of the Police School Diversion Program

In 2014, the Philadelphia Police Department collaborated with the City’s school district and DHS to launch the Police School Diversion Program as a trauma-informed approach to the address the growing number of students arrested by police officers working in schools and to stem the school-to-prison pipeline. As an alternative to arrest, students in Philadelphia are referred to either The Bridge or one of the other IPS program providers. An evaluation of the Police School Diversion Program shows that student participation in an IPS program has resulted in a 71 percent drop in the number of arrests between 2014 and 2018, and that out of the 1,171 students diverted in that timeframe, 86 percent have remained arrest-free.


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