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A second chance:A report on the effects of after-school programs and the prevention of delinquent behaviors

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Leaving kids alone and the subsequent tendcy to use drugs: Charlene Solomon.
  3. Empirical studies and statistics.
    1. Positive reinforcements and extra-curricular activities to keep the children busy.
    2. Deanna Linville's research.
    3. An empirical report showing positive results from a program called ?L.A.'s Best.?
  4. After-school programs, community related activities and other prevention strategies - lowering the potential for incarceration.
  5. Conclusion.

Research shows that delinquency among children and adolescents is an extremely prevalent social problem, especially among adolescents in poverty stricken neighborhoods. Studies have shown that these kids are twice as likely to use and abuse drugs, participate in gang related activities and have sexual intercourse (Solomon, 1994). Studies have also shown that recently, serious violent crimes committed by youths are becoming disproportionately large compared to all juvenile crimes (Catalano, Loeber and Mckinney, 1999). Lerner and Galambos state that adolescence is a time that increases kids' chances of being involved in risky activities because their relationships with people are changing (1998). From a realist's point of view there will always be crime and delinquency among adolescents, especially in areas of poverty where the chances of becoming delinquent are increased due to a lack of proper education, supervision and other family related issues like having an incarcerated parent. However, there are ways to lower those rates and to offer children in poverty a second chance. By creating after school programs and activities, the children living in high-risk areas are more likely to stay out of delinquent situations. High risk areas are defined as a residential community that is characterized by high crime and poverty rates, environmental hazards, geographic isolation, residential instability, inadequate housing, low-quality schooling and scarce social service and economic resources. These programs could offer guidance not found anywhere else, a better chance at an education and of course the development of personal relationships both with adults and fellow peers.

[...] He recognizes a program called MOST (Making the Most of Out-of-School Time) that works to improve the accessibility, affordability and quality of after-school programs in three major cities. He states that the population of children in the three of his chosen research cities is predominantly low to moderate income. Halpern feels that after-school activities should be viewed as normative adolescent development support, and should be available to any low-income children that are interested. He emphasizes that after-school activities are characteristically safe places where children can be themselves and escape the pressures they may experience elsewhere. [...]

[...] I came across some sources that had programs that were failing but they still had a positive outcome for several of the children involved. I would have liked to find an article that contradicted what I had to say, so that I could pick it apart and do it right back to them in order to strengthen my argument. As I have previously stated, I was not required to do the actual research for this research paper. My findings are based on the findings of others, which are accurate, and reliable, however, I have provided no new information on this topic for others to use in similar projects. [...]

[...] My final article was completed by a group of researchers and provides an empirical report showing positive results from a program called ?L.A.'s Best.? Huang, Gribbons, Lee, Sung Kim and Baker completed a longitudinal study of ?L.A.'s Best? program developed to address the problem of educational achievement and the increasing need for student supervision by creating and maintaining an after-school program for students. The main point of this program is to increase the educational achievement of the lower performing students. [...]

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