The impact of juvenile justice programs on preventing crime

Juveniles caught committing crimes in North Carolina often have experienced difficult challenges that impact their ability to respond to stress, temptation and peer pressure. Often, these same at-risk youth lack access to resources designed to prevent criminal activity through education and support.

The implementation of juvenile justice programs in detention facilities aim to teach at-risk youth critical skills to reduce their involvement in crime. When leveraged the right way, these programs may make all the difference in transforming the lives of juvenile delinquents.

Recognizing high-risk youth

Juvenile detention facilities detain youth charged with committing crimes that range from minor to serious. However, the most violent and dangerous individuals are often those with the most restricted access to remedial and behavioral programs. According to the National Institute of Corrections, these especially at-risk youth are most in need of receiving these types of services.

With ongoing juvenile detention reforms, advocates for juvenile criminals have pushed for a greater focus on providing life-changing and consistent support to youth in need. Making therapy, education and peer support an integral component of the juvenile detention experience may completely change the outcome for participants and encourage long-term success.

Mental health and positive development

According to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, a substantial number of detained youth simultaneously experience substance abuse and mental health disorders. To combat this problem and encourage healing and recovery some facilities have implemented a new program where a licensed mental health clinician assesses each youth upon his or her entry into a facility.

The results of the assessment highlight known contributors to delinquent behavior. Utilizing these results, psychiatric and mental health professionals can create a customized and effective treatment plan to optimize each participant’s experience.