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Juvenile Delinquency Crime
Crime Causation and Diversion
1. The Tribal Youth Power Program (TYP)
The Tribal Youth Power Program (TYP) is a cultural based social, life and leadership skills development program aimed at reducing Juvenile delinquency and crime among tribal (Native American) youth and their families. The program offers alcohol and drug prevention case management and education, invention, prevention services meant to remove the barriers that affect youth development and achievement.
The program works in conjunction with specialists to enhance the youth’s well being. The program uses both old tribal wisdom as well as contemporary principles to design the most effective learning materials for the tribal youth. The lessons and counseling are designed in such a way as to enhance the capacity of the youth both in and out of school. ( Lemmer and Johnston, 2008)
The Native American communities are often faced with numerous social problems. “As in many rural areas in the United States, opportunities for economic advancement on and near Tribal lands are harder to come by than in urban and suburban centers,” (Quotah and Chalmers, 2006).Because of the limited opportunities, these communities experience high levels of poverty and unemployment.
These factors contribute to other problems such as poor health, alcohol and substance abuse and high rates of violence incarcerations and juvenile delinquency. The youth, who make up more than a third of the Native American Community are especially adversely affected because of “negative peer pressure and wasted talent,” (Quotah and Chalmers, 2006). How effective is the Tribal Youth Power Program in reducing Juvenile delinquency?
The unique feature about the TYP program is that it uses tribal – based solutions to deal with the problems facing the Native Americans. Unlike most of the other problems which employ general. Non – Tribal Strategies, TYP’s programs are tailor made to address the specific needs of each tribe. Second, the TYP program encourages the tribal youth to examine and adopt those aspects of their culture that underscore inner strength, respect and pride (Quotah and Chalmers).
Third, the program has a leadership skills development program. This program aims to develop the potential, talent and capacity of the tribal youth thus giving them an opportunity for personal growth and opportunity. This program gives the youth grand opportunities in an otherwise opportunity – deficient world, to lead healthy and productive lives. The program also equips the youth with resourceful tools with which they can positively contribute to their own communities through development projects.
The program also uses the Tribal and other local leaders to assist the youth, change their behavior. This is mainly achieved through mentorship programs. As Quotah and Chalmers (200) say, “mentoring can be a powerful youth development tool in Native Communities, where so much of the Tribe’s history and identity is passed down through the knowledge and skills of the elders. The self – esteem and confidence that can come through a meaningful connection with older Tribute members can help children and youth people to grow into successful, productive members of the society.”
2.The 8% Early Intervention Program
The 8% Early Intervention Program was created in July 1994 in the Orange Country, California. The purpose of the program is to assist first-time offenders, aged 15 years and below and who are at risk of becoming chronic offenders (OJJDP Fact Sheet 2001). The program targets the high – risk youth together with their families. The goals of the program are to increase structure, supervision, and support for families; instill the importance of school in the youth and their families; and to promote socially acceptable values, behavior and relationships.
The program also develops intervention strategies and services for youth, and instills a strong teamwork commitment by all the partners concerned. The targeted offenders exhibit multi – problem profile which shows their likelihood of becoming repeat offenders. These include: problems at home and in school, alcohol or substance abuse and gang involvement. (Lemmer and Johnston, 2008)
The partners responsible for the program offer a wide variety of services: an onsite school for students in junior and senior high school; alcohol and drug abuse counseling; mental health check – ups and follow up services; health screenings and education; job preparation, and placement services; recreation, life skills and community service projects; intensive family counseling for affected families; parenting classes; and community service activities every fortnight. (OJJDP Fact Sheet, 2001).
The 8% Early Intervention Program and other such – like programs can be effective because of various reasons: the number of chronic juvenile offenders can be reduced through aggressive early intervention and treatment of high – risk youth and families; unlike in the Juvenile Justice System, early prevention programs take into account the significant risk factors: the program incorporates the entire family by offering classes and trainings which seek to empower the whole family. The family is therefore in a better position to handle the delinquent in an effective manner. The 8% Early Intervention Program is said to be a successful and effective way of reducing the rate of Juvenile delinquency. As the “Country of Orange Department,” (2001) says:
“Clearly, to date, the 8% Early Intervention Program is demonstrating success in reducing chronic repeat offending by high – risk youth. If these results continue into the future, the long – term benefits of this program will far outweigh the cost of these early intervention efforts. There will be cost savings from not institutionalizing as many teenagers and young adults and, more importantly, we will see a reduction in the human pain, suffering, and property loss of their victims.”
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& article_id = 291 & issue_id = 52004
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Improve Conditions for Families and Youth. The Exchange. Retrieved, March 14, 2008, from: http://ww.ncfy.com/publications/exchange/0604.htm.