Developmental crime prevention takes a long view of the causes of crime and aims to intervene early in life to prevent criminal activity. By redirecting and creating healthy impulses for young people, crime can be avoided. Using this approach helps young, would be offenders become aware of better choices, provides support at home, school and in the community and aims to make communities and neighborhoods safer places to live.
Intervention Gets Results
According to the Handbook of Crime Prevention and Community Safety, written by Ross Homel, there are key developmental stages in a child’s life that offer the best opportunities for intervention. Giving constructive options, support and age appropriate feedback at these points helps that child make better choices as they grow and exposes them to additional options that do not include criminal activity. Homel states these transitional periods are the most important times to intervene and provide developmental crime prevention opportunities and assistance:
- Kindergarten Graduation
- The leap from elementary to middle school
- The switch from middle to high school
- Before high school graduation
Offering resources to kids, families and classrooms during this time can help increase awareness, provide more options and prevent the development of criminal activity later in life. While these programs have been created with criminal prevention in mind, they benefit kids from all backgrounds and can be beneficial in a variety of ways.
Reduction of behavioral problems, reduced truancy and even a decrease in delinquency and other in-school issues decrease when an effective developmental crime prevention program is in place, according to Homel.
How Developmental Crime Programs Work
These innovative programs measure risk and provide intervention when needed; kids that are aware of opportunities and have the tools and resources they need early in life are less likely to become offenders in the future. Some risk factors for crime include:
- Family life and risks
- Individual development
- School environment and bullying
- Disruptive or traumatic life events
- Culture and community risks and events
By identifying those most vulnerable and most at risk, a developmental program can be created that addresses specific needs and offers the support and resources these at-risk kids and teens need most. When at-risk children have access to the support they need, the entire community benefits. This approach is designed to lead to better outcomes for kids and communties over time; it is not a replacement for securing your own home, though.
At Protect America, we applaud any initiative that seeks to keep communities safe by reaching out and resolving some of the issues that resolve crime. Solutions take time, though, and even effective approaches like developmental crime prevention take years to see results. In the meantime, Protect America can keep your home and family safe. Contact us to find out how easy it is to get the peace of mind that comes from knowing your family is protected; we’re committed to keeping your home safe today, tomorrow and in the future.