Delinquency among the youth is increasingly becoming a matter of great concern to the wider society. It affects both the youth within educational institutions and those that are out of or have just completed their high school education. Statistics point out to the fact that delinquency is especially rampant among the youth who have just completed their high school education. It is thus incumbent upon all the concerned stakeholders to come up with ways to curb the rising incidences of delinquency among the youth who have just completed school. This position paper puts forward proposals which can be implemented so as to actualize a good after school delinquency prevention program.
One of the critical components in designing a good after school delinquency program is that it must incorporate activities that are relevant to the youth in this day and time. To that extent, it would be inadvisable and an effort in futility to design programs that encompass activities of yesteryears. The after school experiences and environment of today is a radical departure from those of earlier times. It is, therefore, incumbent upon all concerned stakeholders to ensure that the activities which they incorporate into the program are those that will be of interest to the youth who have just completed school. For instance, it would be ill advised to come up with programs which do not cover aspects of social media yet almost every after school youth today has access to the social media. The social media is a force to reckon with both positively and negatively. It is a force to reckon with negatively as far as delinquency among after school youth is concerned as it one of the principal ways by which they get exposed to various forms of delinquency.
A good after school delinquency program must also recognize the important role that parents play in the lives of their children. Indeed, many programs have been unsuccessful because they failed to recognize the input of key stakeholders such as parents. It would be foolhardy to come up with programs which focus solely on the authorities and the after school youth while assuming that parents will only play a tangential role in the program. A good program is one that recognizes that parents are a central cog in managing delinquency among after school children. Consequently, such a program will seek to sensitize parents on the importance of keeping track of the activities of their children who have just completed school. Furthermore, it will also detail the telltale signs of a youth who is engaging in delinquent acts. The program will also incorporate tips that parents can use so as to ensure that their children who have just completed school do not fall into the folly of committing delinquent acts.
A good after school delinquency program must also be one that focuses on early intervention. The rationale behind this is simple. Early intervention can serve both as a preventive and as a curative measure. It can serve as a preventive measure as it allows for the detection of delinquency early enough for corrective measures to be taken. Secondly, early intervention can serve as a preventive measure as through such a method, the authorities will be in a position to identify the risk factors that predispose children who have just completed school to delinquent behaviour. Such factors can then be greatly reduced or completely eliminated. This will serve the purpose of ensuring that in the long run, as few children as possible get exposed to delinquency. Early intervention can serve as a curative measure in the sense that when delinquency is detected early, the authorities can intervene early enough to ensure that the youth in question does not go down further the drain of delinquency.
It is also important to ensure that an after school delinquency program is comprehensive. It must be a program which is proactive and not reactive. It must be a program which takes into account the prevailing conditions in the lives of children who have just completed school but which at the same time is dynamic so as to ensure that it keeps pace with the changing times. It must be a program which brings on board as many stakeholders as possible. It is equally important to ensure that the program provides for adequate training of the personnel who will be tasked with ensuring its successful implementation. Such personnel must be equipped with the requisite skills that will enable them effectively handle the twenty first century after school youth. They must be able to interact with them in way that enables them to influence them positively rather than arousing further rebellion from them.
Lastly, it is important that such a program establishes clearly defined objectives. These objectives will serve as guiding posts which the concerned stakeholders can use to evaluate the success of the program. Establishing of objectives also has the added benefit of enabling the concerned stakeholders continually refine and improve the program so as to ensure it attains the targeted outcomes.
Arnett, J. J. (2012). Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood. British Columbia: Pearson College Division.
Blyth, M., Newman, R., & Wright, C. (2009). Children and Young People in Custody: Managing the Risk. Bristol: The Policy Press.
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. (2013, March 31). OJJDP Model Programs Guide. Retrieved October 20, 2013, from U. S Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs: http://www.ojjdp.gov/mpg/Philadelphia%20Youth%20Violence%20Reduction-MPGProgramDetail-603.aspx