Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation

Juvenile rehabilitation centers should address treatment needs, skill development and successful re-integration of juveniles into the society

Juvenile Crime

Juvenile Crime

All juveniles have individual strengths that can be identified, built on, and employed to prevent future delinquency

Youth Activities

Youth Activities

Engaging a community and neighborhood that promote and foster healthy activities for juveniles

Life-Skills

Life-Skills

Availability of economic and other resources exposes juveniles in attaining multiple experiences that supports their life-skills

Family Support

Family Support

Participation in shared activities between youth and family (including siblings and parents) is key to positive re-integration of juveniles

 

Preventing Juvenile Delinquency

Fr. Fredrick Odhiambo, a Catholic priest and a counseling expert has worked with various youth projects. Based on his experience with the juveniles, he presents key approaches of dealing with juvenile delinquency, rehabilitation and re-integration programs.
He says that juvenile delinquency has been on the increase for a number of factors. This entails lack of employment, family differences and the social environment.

Fr. Fredrick Odhiambo in a counseling session

Fr. Fredrick Odhiambo in a counseling session

He explains that there have been numerous programs that have attempted to lower this rate. Some are greatly successful, while many others have minimal or no impact. He adds that it is essential to determine the efficiency of juvenile re-integration programs, and to see what works and what does not.
“Concerning prevention of juvenile delinquency, the most successful prevention programs can continue to be implemented and improved to enhance positive re-integration of juveniles”, he said.
Prevention programs positively impact the general public because they stop crime from happening in the first place. And there are even some prevention programs that are more successful than others. One aspect of successful prevention programs is based on evaluation and their effectiveness on juveniles. Programs that are more holistic prevent future crime better because they deal with various aspects of youth development.
He adds that risk factors that young teenagers are prone to, also contribute to juvenile crime.  This include: substance abuse, abusive and violent family. These risk factors are correlated with physical and psychological development of a child. Socio-economic status is another interesting risk factor.
Fr. Fredrick explains that regardless of socio-economic status, children who were raised by distressed and unsupportive caregivers or families had a greater chance of developing behavioral problem than children who had nurturing caregivers and grew up in supportive homes.
“However in the prison scenario, juveniles that are offered practical and social support are in a better position to become effective and productive individuals”, he said.
He further explains that early intervention programs such schooling and life-skills enrichment programs are effective in preventing juvenile delinquency, curbing early risk factors that set teenagers up for better future prospects.
Fr. Fredrick adds that juvenile delinquency is a serious problem in our society that needs to receive serious attention. Even those who are not directly affected end up being touched by this issue through governmental allocation of tax and the general safety of our communities.
“This crisis is not managed by simply funding programs expecting them to work but also calls for holistic approach in dealing with juvenile delinquency ”, he adds.
While early intervention programs have been beacons of light within the fog of an assortment of programs, there is always room for improvement. Successful intervention programs continue beyond childhood years to provide support in preventing juvenile crime. For juveniles, the best programs do not end upon exiting juvenile facility. Juvenile rehabilitation programs must instead continue to provide support for as long as the particular juvenile requires it.
“Families, schools and Juvenile rehabilitation institutions should also focus on programs that combine early intervention with comprehensive curriculum in order to control and prevent juvenile delinquency. However, they are only the beginning, and our society must turn to create programs that will bring us closer to finding an end to this far-reaching problem of juvenile delinquency”, he concludes.

—Ends—

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