Keeping Our Kids Out of the System

The Statistics

Although the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention maintains that the juvenile arrest rate for violent crime is at its lowest level in the last 30 years, there are still an average of 262 arrests for violent offenses per 100,000 youth in the United States. Today's parents must face the challenge of keeping their children from becoming involved in crime and becoming another sad statistic.

Lead by Example

Parents are one of the greatest influences on their children and their first and best teachers. Young children learn to talk, walk, and interact by watching their parents. As children grow up, they look to their parents to provide guidance, information, nurturing, and expectations. Teens say their parents are more influential in their decisions than friends, teachers, coaches, and the news media.

Action Plan

The National Crime Prevention Council offers sound advice for concerned parents. These tips offer more than just advice telling parents to teach their kids that “hurting others is wrong” or “drugs are bad for you.”
Guys in front yard
The most important thing parents can do to prevent their children from engaging in criminal activity is to play an active role in their kids' lives.
  • Know who your children are spending time with and be in contact with their friends’ parents
  • Encourage your child to participate in after-school programs and/or community clubs
  • Talk to your children about crime, including gangs, and the risks of violent or illegal behavior
  • Emphasize morals and downplay the supposed upsides of criminal activity
  • Establish, explain and enforce household rules regarding curfew, friends, notification of whereabouts and spending money
  • Set a good example