Boys and Girls Clubs of America as a Resource to Aid in the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency
Boys and Girls Clubs of America
This research describes the tremendous need for nonprofit human services organizations by youth who: use drugs, commit crimes or are victims of crime, drop out of high school, and become pregnant at an early age. There are a variety of nonprofit organizations such as Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Children's Aid Society that step in to try to compensate for a breakdown in modern social infrastructures. This paper summarized how each makes their own unique contributions and describes in detail the many successes of programs offered by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, proven by formalized studies. Because human services have made such a difference in the lives of children, recommendations include additional outreach and increased funding for their activities.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Problems Facing Juveniles in Society
71.4 Lack of Education
81.5 Teen Pregnancy
102.0 Programs to Combat Juvenile Problems in Society
102.1 Boys and Girls Clubs of America
112.2 Big Brothers Big Sisters
122.3 Children's Aid Society
143.0 Success of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America
153.1 Southwest Program Study
173.3 Project Connect Program Study
183.4 SMART Moves Drug Prevention Study
203.5 Stay SMART Sexual Activity Study
213.6 Family Advocacy Network (FAN Club) Study
233.7 Everyday Participation Studies
254.0 Issues and Recommendations
254.1 Additional Re-search
264.2 Targeted Outreach
274.3 Adequate Funding
1.0 Introduction to Problems Facing Juveniles in Society
Youth raised in the 1950s and 1960s had most of those needs readily met; families, neighbors, and schools supplied their basic needs while providing a sense of security, trust, belonging, and, to some extent, self-esteem. But, today factors such as the disintegration of families, loss of cohesiveness in neighborhoods (even in the well-to-do suburbs), and atrophy of the public schools has caused this paradigm to collapse.
The resulting problems have been tremendous. According to the United States census, one third of all school age children in the United States go home to an empty house or apartment. The total number may be between five and seven million children between five and thirteen years old, often referred to as "latch key" children.
Increase in drug use, participation crime, prevalent victimization, failure to complete high school and pregnancies are just a few of the side effects of the breakdown in traditional social structures as discussed in this introductory section.
Results from the 2003 National Survey on Drug Use & Health funded by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Office of Applied Studies reveal that 11.2% of youths aged twelve to seventeen used illicit drugs. The rate of marijuana use among youths was 7.9%. Among youths aged twelve to seventeen, an estimated 17.7% used alcohol in the month prior to the survey interview. Of these, 10.6% were binge drinkers, and 2.6% were heavy drinkers. Further, an estimated 3.6 million youths aged twelve to seventeen, 14.4%, reported past month use of a tobacco product in 2003.
Substance abuse by young people can result in health-related problems such as mental health) or death, academic difficulties, risky behaviors, poor peer relationships, and involvement with the juvenile justice system. And, early drug use indicates significant future problems. The 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that adults who had first used substances at a younger age were more likely to be classified with dependence or abuse than adults who initiated use at a later age. For example, among adults aged eighteen or older who first tried marijuana at age fourteen or younger, 13.3% were classified with illicit drug dependence or abuse compared with only 2.2% of adults who had first used marijuana at age eighteen or older.
Juvenile crime in the United States has fallen dramatically in recent years, but is still a significant problem. In 2002, law enforcement agencies in the United States made approximately 2.3 million arrests of persons under age eighteen. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, juveniles accounted for seventeen percent of all arrests and fifteen percent of all violent crime arrests (murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault) in 2002. Around one in every 360 persons aged ten through seventeen was arrested for a violent crime. In 2002, juveniles were involved in one in ten arrests for murder, one in eight arrests for a drug abuse violation, one in five arrests for a weapons violation, and one in four arrests for robbery. Arrests per 100,000 juveniles for property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson) in 2002 was 1,500.
The rate for juvenile crime peaks in the after-school hours. About ten percent of violent juvenile crimes are committed between 3p.m. And 4 p.m. Children are also at a much greater risk of being the victim of a violent crime after the school day, roughly 2 p.m. To 6 p.m. A major part of the problem is that more than twenty-eight million school-age children have parents who work outside the home. As many as fifteen children return to an empty home after school.
It's important to remember that juveniles not only cause crimes, they are also victims as well. The following alarming statistics reveal why safety is such a huge issue for juveniles.
In 2001, there were 1617 homicides in the United States in the population of youth between the ages of thirteen and nineteen. Two hundred and sixty-three juvenile females were murdered and 1352 juvenile males were murdered.
According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, youth between the ages of twelve and nineteen experienced over 1,798,010 non-fatal violent victimizations in 2001, rates which are significantly higher than any other age group.
Seven percent of all suicide victims in 1996 were nineteen or younger.
Among youths between the ages of twelve and nineteen, there were an estimated 82,440 rapes and sexual assaults in 2001; an estimated 187,020 robberies, an estimated 339,180 aggravated assaults; an estimated 1,189,020 simple assaults, and an estimated 56,040 thefts.
Almost seventy percent of female youth in the juvenile justice system have histories of physical abuse compared to twenty percent of juvenile females in the general population.
The odds of being a victim of domestic violence as an adult are increased by a factor of 1.7 by being an adolescent victim of a violent crime. The odds of being a perpetrator of domestic violence as an adult are increased by a factor of 1.7 by being a victim of violent crime in adolescence and doubled by being a perpetrator of violent crime in adolescence.
Sixty-five percent of the offenders incarcerated in state correctional facilities for crimes against juveniles in 1997 were sex offenders.
Active youth gangs are present in 100% of the nation's largest cities; forty-seven percent of metropolitan areas with large suburbs; twenty-seven percent of the small cities, and eighteen percent of the rural counties.
1.4 Lack of Education
In 2002, eleven percent of young people aged sixteen to twenty four in the civilian, non-institutionalized population were not enrolled in and had not completed high school. Because a high school is required for accessing post-secondary education and is a minimum requirement for most jobs, drop outs are not likely to have the minimum skills and credentials necessary to function in today's increasingly complex society and technological workplace. The results are that high school dropouts are more likely than high school completers to be unemployed and to achieve lower incomes higher occupational status. Studies have found that young adults with low education and skill levels are more likely to live in poverty and to receive government assistance. High school dropouts are likely to stay on public assistance longer than those with at least a high school degree. And, high school dropouts are more likely to become involved in crime.
1.5 Teen Pregnancy
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 1990 and 2002 almost 137,000 of young mothers aged ten to fourteen delivered a live birth. About two-fifths of the pregnancies among the ten to fourteen-year-olds in 2000 ended in a live birth, two-fifths ended in induced abortion, and about one in six ended in a fetal loss. Birth rates to these young mothers in 2000-2002 ranged from the national low of 0.2 per thousand in Maine to a high of two per thousand in Mississippi and the District of Columbia.
Births to very young mothers are associated with increased health risks to the mother. CDC documents that these mothers:
Had the lowest levels of timely prenatal care (47.1%) in the first trimester, in contrast to the overall rate of 83.3%.
Were more likely to receive late or no prenatal care (16.1%) as compared to an overall rate of 3.8%.
Were at a higher risk for pregnancy-associated hypertension (5.3%) and eclampsia (0.7%). Their rate of pregnancy-associated hypertension was over forty percent higher…