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Juvenile delinquency is when a minor act in a criminal manner including actions such as crimes against property, public order, persons, and drug offenses (The National Institute of Justice, 2012). The prevention of juvenile delinquency in the U.S has taken the step of implementing programs aimed at preventing or reducing at minimum antisocial behaviors and other criminal activities among young people. The efforts of delinquency prevention programs are to redirect adolescents at the risk of delinquency from engaging more within the juvenile justice system. The essay focuses on discussing a selected existing juvenile prevention program in the U.S to analyze its goals and report on whether the program initiatives have a chance of success.
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The Selected Program
The selected prevention program for juveniles in the U.S is the Aggression Replacement Training (ART) in New York (NY). It was developed by Barry Glick Program Developer G & G Consultants in NY. The ART is a juvenile delinquency program that targets adolescents between the years of eleven to seventeen. The program focuses severe and violent offenders as well as young offenders in the urban and suburban areas in New York.
Program Goal Analysis
The ART is considered as a multimodal program used and provided in different settings including community and courts. The ART aims at replacing the antisocial behaviors among the juveniles through active training of desired actions in the society. The practice entails cognitive behavioral treatment, group therapy, conflict resolution skills, interpersonal skills as well as violence prevention among the juveniles (Brannstrom, Kaunitz, Andershed, South, & Smedslund, 2016). These initiatives intend to minimize the antisocial behaviors of the aggressive delinquents within residential care in NY, USA. These antisocial behaviors are replaced with desirable behaviors by teaching the delinquents using cognitive therapy and behavioral therapy techniques. Cognitive and learning theories are critical to the trainers during the sessions to enable the juveniles to understand and change their bad behaviors.
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Looking at the program goals, it is evident that its initiatives have a high chance of success. Since the ART program focuses on the prevention of delinquency by deterring antisocial behavior by instilling skills to the juveniles, it will be successful as the children will improve self-control that ensures behavior change through personal regulation. By instilling cognitive and behavioral skills, the program will be useful as the juveniles will enhance their social skills, obtain better control of their emotions and moral reasoning.
As a prospective donor, I have identified various past researchers that describe the effectiveness of the ART program. For instance, studies show that the statistics of those engaged in the program have significantly reduced in felony recidivism, problem behaviors as well as improvement in social skills (Gundersen & Frode, 2006; Glick & Gibbs, 2011). It means that its progress in juvenile delinquency will continue to be efficient even in the future. The initiative of constant learning as well as transfer training methods in teaching juveniles is techniques that have a chance of continuous success. The three components of structured learning, anger control and moral reasoning training utilized in the ART program directly target the participants’ impulsiveness and anger control. Further, the implementation benefits for the programs out-weight its costs. The National Institute of Justice (2012) state that for every one dollar spent on the program, it generates eleven dollars benefits regarding avoided crime costs. In the case of poor implementation, the program will save $6.71 for every one dollar spent. Therefore, its success is guaranteed, and prospective donors should support this program to ensure juvenile delinquency is reduced to the minimum in the U.S.
In conclusion, ART is a juvenile delinquency program in the NY whose success is guaranteed based on the initiatives that have been and continue to be implemented. The program concentrates on developing juvenile competencies in emotional as well as social facets that may lead to aggressive behavior. Since the program initiatives are designed to train adolescents the ways of reducing violence and aggression, it is expected that in the long-run, success of the program will be achieved through the provision of these needed pro-social skills by the juveniles.
- Brannstrom, L., Kaunitz, C., Andershed, A., South, S., & Smedslund, G. (2016). Aggression replacement training (ART) for reducing antisocial behavior in adolescents and adults: A systematic review. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 27; 30-41.
- Gundersen, K., & Frode, S. (2006). Aggression Replacement Training in Norway: Outcome Evaluation of 11 Norwegian Student Projects. Scandinavian Journal of Education Research 50(1):63–81.
- Glick, B., & Gibbs, J. (2011). Aggression Replacement Training®: A Comprehensive Intervention for Aggressive Youth (Third Edition–Revised and Expanded). Champaign, Ill: Research Press.
- The National Institute of Justice. (2012, June). Program Profile: Aggression Replacement Training® (ART®). CrimeSolutions.gov.