• Early Childhood Community Intervention: Preventing Neighborhood Factors of Crime and Delinquency.

      Abam, Ruddy Sirri-Akonwi (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2016-10-28)
      The social and political public health model established by States to separate and isolate criminals from society has for many decades given way to policies that support and have resulted in the large-scale use of incarceration as a means of punishment for major crimes as well as minor offenses. Most prevention strategies focus on adolescence and adulthood as cases of serious offenses continue to increase across the nation. Such approaches may be lacking additional significant mechanisms to interrupt and prevent the propensity for crime earlier in children’s lives; mechanisms which will determine if children will be future successes in society or adults within the confines of the Criminal Justice System. This review will further underscore the key factors in early childhood development that subject children to quality-of-life-crime and delinquency in the future. Based on analysis of existing literature from Criminology, Psychology and Education, this work will further examine the community-based prevention programs which seek to improve the effects of those neighborhood factors of crime. This review further focuses on programs that have demonstrated long-standing effectiveness at deterring prospective delinquent behavior and life-long association with the system. Programs that foster education services, family value and stability, as well as favorable social behavior early on, reduces a child’s probability for delinquency. There exists beneficial evidence of the cost effectiveness of neighborhood prevention strategies that outweigh the high steadily growing costs of incarceration on our nation. Programs within the framework of community-based prevention not only address factors of crime such as poverty, but also the environmental causes of quality-of-life crimes by focusing on stabilizing communities, promoting family support and combining structure with early education activities. Neighborhood crime prevention efforts have emerged as major alternatives to the Criminal Justice System, to alter and deter early crime paths which lead to adult entanglement with the system. The crucial economic features of life for many poor communities puts them at higher risks of association with the Justice system while high rates of exposure for children, especially boys and young men in those poor communities continually proves to be the norm. These measures demonstrate assurance in reducing the present-day catastrophic impressions of delinquency and relations with crime on America’s children and families. To employ this public health model of neighborhood-based prevention, we must think beyond the usual tough on crime control model, which favors methods of increased detainment and incapacitation as means of deterrence. Efforts should rather be based on the transformative policy implications of early prevention mechanisms in communities across the nation which prove to better serve the necessity to prevent crime.