Blog | October 16, 2019

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

Afterschool Fights Crime in Tennessee

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 encourage all law enforcement agencies to build this type of partnership [with afterschool] in the communities they serve.

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids member Eve M. Thomas, Knoxville Police Chief

The Prime Time for Juvenile Crime in Tennessee

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

In Tennessee, juvenile crime peaks between 2-6 p.m. on school days, with about 27 percent of all juvenile crime on those days occurring during the hours following the last school bell.

Program Highlight: Boys & Girls Club, Knoxville

The Boys & Girls Club of Tennessee Valley has been serving youth and teens in the greater Knoxville area for 76 years. During that time the Club has grown and evolved to serve 1,400 kids daily and 9,800 youth and teens annually with three-quarters of those kids coming from non-traditional households.

The Club – funded partly by local, state and federal grants including funding from the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program – operates 17 sites that provide nutritious and healthy meals, tutoring, mentoring, academic programming, and youth sports. One of the reasons that youth keep coming back are the relationships they are building with caring staff and volunteers.

The Boys & Girls Club of Tennessee Valley participants

Some of those volunteers come from the great relationship the Club has with the local law enforcement departments in the region. In fact, cadets that are in the academy to become police officers are required to volunteer at the Club sites in plain clothes and not identify themselves as future officers. Once they are sworn in, the officers will come back in uniform. Not only does this help build empathy in those police officers for the community they will be serving but it also humanizes those officers for the kids served by the program.

The bonds our officers make with the kids at the Boys & Girls Club have a lasting impact on our public safety. Not only do these relationships help the kids see our officers as caring adults they can trust but it also helps our officers better understand the community they are serving.

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids member Eve M. Thomas, Knoxville Police Chief

Beyond traditional programming, they also offer TRiO: Talent Search and Pipeline, both serving youth from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRiO serves potential first generation college students providing academic, career, and financial counseling to its participants and encourages them to graduate from high school and continue on to postsecondary education. Of the 501 who have participated, 94 percent completed the current academic grade and progressed to the next grade level and 73 percent self-reported enrollment in a post-secondary institution.

100 percent of participants completed the current academic year, progressing to the next grade, 100 percent graduated high school, and 95 percent self-reported enrollment in a post-secondary institution.

The Pipeline program is designed to increase the number of youth from disadvantaged backgrounds to complete high school and enroll in health care industry-related postsecondary programs. Of the 313 participants, 100 percent of participants completed the current academic year and progressed to the next grade, 100 percent graduated high school, and 95 percent self-reported enrollment in a post-secondary institution.

Boys and Girls Clubs of Tennessee Valley

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  1. Afterschool Programs

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  1. Tennessee