The prevention of juvenile delinquency is an essential part of crime prevention in the society. Stemming the spate of crime committed by minors. A young person under the age of 18 years involved in acts such as aggression and violence, assault, rape, substance abuse, underaged drinking, underaged smoking, gang violence, sexual activity, stealing, cultism, robbery, etc.
Juvenile delinquent is any young person whose conduct is characterized by antisocial behaviour that is beyond parental control and subject to legal action. The habitual committing of criminal acts or offences by a young person, especially one below the age at which ordinary criminal prosecution is possible.
Focusing on youth who present a high risk of chronic delinquency and violence, boys who present serious behaviour problems, youth with chronic delinquent behaviour who are at risk of incarceration.
Causes of juvenile offending include broken families, poverty, frequent parent’s fights, poor parenting, peer pressure, lack of parental supervision, lack of discipline, family violence, lack of education, substance abuse mismanagement of family conflicts, poor parental behaviour, uninvolved parenting, unequal treatment between children, siblings with behaviour problems, etc. These contribute to the onset of criminal behaviour in a child or adolescent.
Delinquency Prevention Programmes
Family Support Programmes
Prevention and early intervention. Helping target the main risk factors in the family. The most effective way to prevent juvenile crime is to mitigate the risk factors in the family and strengthen protective factors. Family-based programmes and support for prevention and intervention services may include functional family therapy programmes, family counselling and family mediation services.
Effective intervention with families can reduce the risk of juvenile delinquency. It helps families develop better parenting practices, communication, problem-solving skills and help youth who are at risk of developing delinquent behaviour or who are already involved in delinquent activities.
Integrated Approach Programmes
A wide range of services and support network for the family and youth. Risk factors come from several areas, neighborhood, school, friends, family. Providing support system around families in need of help.
The need for Social services for former inmates and their families. These help adolescents on probation and their families. The siblings of the youth on parole are less likely to commit crimes because of the help the family has received. Youth out of detention readjust to free life and not go back because of the condition in the family ending repeat offences. These may include community involvement, recreation and education.
Conflict Resolution Education
Delinquency and violence are symptoms of youth inability to handle conflicts constructively. Early Intervention by teaching young people conflict resolution skills to manage conflict can reduce juvenile delinquency and violence. It can prevent juveniles from ever encountering the justice system through conflict resolution strategies that aim to teach the child healthy actions, coping skills, problem-solving skills to deal with difficult situations and discussion of what individual issues a child is dealing with.
Conflict resolution education in schools, community and juvenile correctional centers in Nigeria that address the underlying problems causing a juvenile’s behaviour and actions, empower young people to identify factors that escalate and de-escalate conflict. Youth develop skills to manage conflicts and disagreements with peers, family and friends.
Skills to resolve disputes peacefully, reduce antisocial behaviour and violence. They learn to effectively manage conflicts and respond to conflict situations in non violent ways. It instills in them self awareness skills for conscious knowledge of their own traits, character, behaviour and feelings.
Positive Behaviour Support
They acquire critical skills to manage emotions, foster behaviour change and prepare for a less violent future. They learn to manage interpersonal conflicts which they take with them home to influence their respective families, friends and community. These enhance safe and peaceful environments, motivate socially responsible people and prepare young people for the future.
They are equipped with the skill sets for reducing incidents of fighting, bullying, harassment and other forms of violence among young people. Teaching them to manage and resolve conflicts, competing needs and interests without resorting to violence.
Learning conflict resolution skills that enable them focus on the problems and not on the personalities involved and come up with resolutions together. Children and youth who are agents of community change. Youth changing the world.