Juvenile delinquency is still a widespread problem in the U.S. Acts of vandalism, bullying, and gang violence negatively affect communities and put teenagers in prison before they even reach adulthood.
Juvenile crime is often a direct result of youths feeling unsafe in their environments. Many turn to violence because they think it’s the only way to survive. Even good children feel the need to join gangs to protect themselves from bullying and victimization.
The Law Offices of Steven R. Adams, a juvenile criminal lawyer in Cincinnati, understands that juvenile offenses have a severe impact on the life of a teenager. A criminal conviction weighs heavily on a child and can have long-term consequences. Teenagers with convictions may have a hard time finding a stable job later in life.
Suppressing Youth Violence
Sadly, gun violence and drug use are common among youths in Ohio. In order to suppress youth violence and to create a safer environment for the community, the state government launched the RECLAIM Ohio intervention, which aims to reduce delinquent behavior among teens aged 12 to 18 years old.
RECLAIM stands for “Reasoned and Equitable Community and Local Alternatives to the Incarceration of Minors.” This is in direct response to the fact that juvenile detention facilities are overcrowded, operating at 150% of capacity.
The program seeks to educate communities by identifying risk factors for juvenile crime. It focuses on preventing delinquent behavior from the individual level to the school and family level. It promotes increased parental supervision and better school attachment, giving children better outlets for negative emotions.
Teach Children That Violence is Not the Answer
Preventing youth crimes has to start at an individual level. It is important to convince youths that they can survive in their neighborhoods without carrying a weapon. Parents, educators, and authority figures must take it upon themselves to teach youths of the full consequences of their actions.
Studies put together by the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence show that education has a powerful impact on reducing crime among children. Making children feel safe at home and in their schools make them less likely to engage in criminal behavior.