Most kids who engage in juvenile delinquency exhibit a pattern of behavior that points to future run-ins with the law. Preventing juvenile delinquency before a major transgression occurs is considered the best course of action to ensure a child has a life full of opportunities and achievements. In this case, parents and educators can play an integral role in effecting a positive change in a child’s life.
Much research says early intervention has the best possible outcome for most kids. In fact, one study showed that taxpayers actually save money when investments are made in such programs. These costs are related to keeping prisoners incarcerated, which can be extremely expensive. Early intervention often involves prevention programs at schools beginning when a child is still in early education.
There is a wide range of programs that are believed to have a great benefit on children. Conflict resolution is an invaluable skill for people of all ages and can also reduce the chance of a child being involved in a violent altercation. Mentoring programs are also beneficial, as having an adult model acceptable behavior to a child is influential if that child lacks positive adult role models in his or her life. To ensure children’s time is occupied with enriching and fulfilling activities, afterschool programs are highly beneficial. This is especially true when parents must work long hours, during which time their children are left to their own devices.
It is also important to understand the factors that deter delinquent behavior. Children who are involved in learning about or participating in a subject or activity have a lower risk of juvenile delinquency than those who do not. Kids who feel a sense of belonging or attachment to a group, whether that is a family or peers, also have a decreased risk of delinquency.