In the previous article, I talked about the common causes of youth crime or juvenile delinquency. Today, we will discuss ways to prevent this. Juvenile Delinquency is the habitual committing of criminal acts or offenses by youngsters or teenagers. The few most common causes of juvenile Delinquency that we discussed in the previous article appear to be:
- Financial constraints
- Peer pressure
- Broken family
- Poor education
- Disruptive or aggressive behavior
- Lack of social commitment
- Drug or alcohol abuse
Delinquent acts by youth such as robbery, assault on others, property damage can result in the young individual’s long-term imprisonment.
Therefore , preventing Juvenile Delinquency can help improve the young individuals’ quality of life.
Before you start working on Juvenile Delinquency prevention, you must review the risk factors that can cause Delinquent behavior later on. Social workers, teachers, or mentors can set-up interventions with the parents or families of kids at high risk of Delinquency.
Parents and teachers can use the following ways to abort the Delinquent behavior of a young child or a teenager.
1.Recognize The Risk Factors For Juvenile Delinquency
Observe the child’s antisocial or uninhibited behavior
When a young child is approaching adolescence, he is likely to withdraw from family because of hormonal changes. However, if they don’t interact with family members and remain agitated, they are likely to develop Juvenile Delinquency later.
Look for the signs of hyperactivity
Children who talk constantly and rapidly, can’t stay still when seated, or act clumsy while walking and moving around might be hyperactive. If you feel your child is hyperactive, make an appointment with a child specialist, and confirm the diagnosis. Manage the child accordingly.
Consider the history of abuse
Teenagers who have endured physical or mental abuse during their childhood are more likely to indulge in juvenile Delinquency . Therefore , if you know a kid who has suffered child abuse, get an appointment with a mental health professional for them as soon as possible.
Find out about the child’s friend circle
A person is known by the company he keeps. It applies to young children and teenagers as well. If a child has a bad company of bullies, delinquent, and aggressive friends, he might as well end up like them. Remove your child from that company of friends immediately.
Study the kid’s family and home environment
Family history and current dynamics are important risk factors for the development of Delinquent behavior. Similarly, families involved in criminal activities, alcohol and drug abuse have a higher chance of pulling their children into this mess as well.
Check out the child’s school performance
There are several reasons why a child is not performing well at school. Juvenile Delinquency might be one of them if the other factors such as illness, learning disability, or stress are ruled out.
2.Use Family Interventions to Prevent Juvenile Delinquency
Converse with high-risk parents early and often
Since family dynamics play a critical role in a child’s character and personality building. Therefore , intervening early with the parents with toxic family dynamics can prevent them from developing delinquent behavior.
Motivate the kids to communicate with their parents
Parents should be friendly and interactive for the children to communicate with them and talk about their problems without fear of being judged or scolded. Children of supportive and cooperative parents are much less likely to indulge in Delinquency. Moreover,community and school programs can also serve as a mode of communication between children and parents.
Find out a supportive family member
A loved and supported child has a strong personality, and a resilient child will never indulge in delinquent behavior. An adult family member, be it a parent, older sibling, uncle, aunt, grandparent, that serves as a friend or a sound listener can protect the child from indulging in criminal activities.
Enroll the child in a mentoring program
If a teen doesn’t have a supportive family member or the family dynamics are not stable, arrange a mentor for them from outside the family. The mentor can even be the child’s school teacher.
In case you are a busy parent and are unable to give enough attention to your child, you may consider enrolling your child in a mentoring program yourself. This way, you can make sure that your child is getting sufficient attention and positive interaction with another adult in your absence.
Prepare collaborative activities for children and parents
The happier the relationship between the children and their parents, the less prone to go astray. Schools and community centers or even parents can plan combined activities such as swimming lessons, arts, music, etc. This can serve as a medium for the interaction between children and parents, thus strengthening their bond.
3.Build a stable and safe environment to Prevent Juvenile Delinquency
Condemn bullying at school
If you are working in a school’s administration department,then you conduct a meeting with other admin members to set rules and regulations. This meeting should discuss child abuse and bullying. Ensure that the rules are strictly followed and punish those who attempt to break them.
Arrange more staff members to give duty in the hallways and encourage them to complain to the admin . If they witness any classroom bullying behavior.
If you are a parent and your teen is facing such behavior at school, ask to meet with the school principal or register a complaint in the school administration.
Encourage the child to participate in extracurricular activities
If a youngster is an active participant in extracurricular activities, he is less likely to indulge in unhealthy and harmful ventures. You may ask a teen about their hobbies and motivate them to join their interest in the school.
If financial constraints prevent a child from enrolling in such activities, try to establish a scholarship fund that can cover up some or all of these activities’ costs.
Plan community activities for youngsters
In some instances, local schools fail to provide a lot of activities or sports. In that case, assist the community services and work with their head to develop such activities for the young kids. Try to conduct a meeting with the town leader about setting up free activities such as yoga, dance, arts, and music classes.
Encourage teens to participate in community development
The greater the child’s social engagement, the greater the chances of staying away from negative behaviors such as Delinquency, aggression, and bullying. Reserve a spot for a youth representative on the community boards.
You can converse with the community heads to set up a youth committee to develop the ideas to involve and serve youth in the best possible ways.