It is well known that juvenile delinquency has been shown to inequitable affect youths from various segments of the population based on their socioeconomic status. Brensilber, Bergin, Krasco and Phillips (2000) explain the correlation between low socioeconomic status and juvenile delinquency by pointing out that the communities from which these youths come are faced with severe economic and social difficulties which further put them at risk for other dangers. Similarly there also seem to be factors in the school and home that further increase the risks of delinquency among these students.
Considering that juveniles in low-income areas have limited access to resources, a low-cost school program is an effective strategy to deal with juvenile delinquency. The purpose of such a program would be first and foremost to impact the youth’s educational environment in which they may spend a significant proportion of their time daily. Such programs would also have a greater reach in terms of numbers of youths that would be affected.
Such a program also aims to tackle early and persistent antisocial behavior (Forster & Rehner, 2003, p. 109) before they become too problematic to counter at the school level and before these youths end up at the wrong end of the juvenile justice system.
Such a program would also seek to reduce the impact that youths with troubling behavior have in their community by empowering youths to make safe choices and instilling in them the moral austerity to follow good role modes.
The program would also seek to promote social justice and equality within the community. This involves teaching youths about their social responsibility and the consequences of their behavior choices. It would also help them to aspire for upward mobility despite the prospects that their community environment would present.
Forster, M. & Rehner, T. (2003). Delinquency prevention as empowerment practice: A community-based social work approach. Race, Gender & Class, 10(2), 109-120.
Brensilber, D., Bergin, P., Krasco, K., & Phillips, S. (2000, June). Title V Delinquency Prevention: Program Years 1997-1999. Massachussetts: Massachusetts Statistical Analysis Center.