After School: Still the Prime Time for Juvenile Crime in Rhode Island
Afterschool Fights Crime in Rhode Island
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 Rhode Island
In Rhode Island, juvenile crime peaks from 2 to 6 p.m. on school days, with about 30 percent of all juvenile crime on those days occurring during the hours following the last school bell.
Program Highlight: Providence After School Alliance
Since its founding in 2004, the Providence After School Alliance (PASA) has led a public/private partnership that brings the Mayor’s Office, the School Department, the Police Department and more than 50 community-based organizations together to create a high quality after school and summer learning system focused on student success from middle school to high school and beyond. In 2008, PASA collaborated with the police chief of Providence to create a youth sports program with police officers serving as coaches and mentors, one of the many sports program options offered by PASA. With funding provided by local corporations and donors, ten officers were able to engage youth in sports such as basketball, football, and soccer. Three years ago, the Providence Police Department and PASA teamed up with the local affiliate of One on One Basketball, whose professional coaches were able to provide police officers with mentoring and training on positive coaching and youth development. For the past two years, members of the community and the police department have come together at an annual sports celebration and awards ceremony, where PASA recognizes the coaches, community partners, and young athletes for their work and dedication to the sports program. The ceremony and accompanying reception give the entire community a chance to gather and celebrate the successes of this partnership and program.
I am proud that our officers help run sports programs in our middle schools, getting to know young people in the city as friends and fellow athletes.
Fight Crime: Invest in Kids member Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Providence Police Department
PASA’s sports programming helps youth build confidence, increase their physical and emotional wellbeing and connects them with caring adult mentors, particularly at an age where play is vital and when it is developmentally important for youth to feel a sense of belonging.
“Sports and youth athletics transform the lives of young people, improve their health, and are a fun way to build skills needed in life. I am proud that our officers help run sports programs in our middle schools, getting to know young people in the city as friends and fellow athletes. It is what community policing is all about,” reflects Providence Police Chief Colonel Hugh T. Clements, a member of the Providence After School Alliance Board.
The benefits of this partnership also extend to the officers and the PASA staff, where officers become better connected with the young people of the community while receiving professional development opportunities through the coaching partnership with One on One Basketball. Conversely, officers provide training to PASA staff to institute safety protocols and ensure they are better prepared to handle emergencies on site—making the afterschool program safer for all participants.
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