Anti-Crime Study Boosts After-School Programs
by William J. Gorta, New York
Post, November 8, 2002
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A new report called for a major expansion in
after-school programs to prevent crime - both by and against
children - and other harmful behavior.
The study, by the New York chapter of "Fight Crime: Invest in
Kids," said teens in New York state who are unsupervised after
school three or more days a week were seven times more likely
to become crime victims than their supervised counterparts.
And a survey of teens in New York indicated children who had
adult supervision after school were considerably less likely
than unwatched kids to report they had sex, had been victims,
used drugs or committed crimes.
The benefits reach beyond the hours the children are in
after-school programs, according to Sanford Newman, Fight
Crime's national director.
"It also has a values and skills effect that they're not home
learning from Jerry Springer how to resolve conflicts," Newman
The group said more than 800,000 after-school-program places
needed to be created statewide.
The programs would pay for themselves, not only saving lives
and tax dollars, but allowing at-risk youth to become
tax-paying adults, the report said.
"No one's against after-school programs, but they haven't put
their money where their mouth is," said Eli Silverman, a
professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
"We can pay now for after-school programs and invest in
success or we can plan to spend far more on prisons for our
failures and early funerals for their victims."