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Schools and delinquency

Schools and delinquency

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Schools and delinquency

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  1. Schools and delinquency

  2. Schools • Children more at risk if they are truant or have dropped out of school • More at risk if they have poor academic records • Feeling of alienation from school • Children who do not like school, do not do well and do not do homework at risk

  3. Schools • Children who do well at school are less at risk, even if poor, abused and/or neglected • 74% of nonoffenders graduate from high school. Among chronic offenders (4 or more arrests) it is less than 10% • 60% of prisoners have NOT had 12 years of education

  4. Schools • Is school a cause of delinquency? • School failure hypothesis: they feel frusted and angry, seek out others who are similar and engage in antisocial behavior. They get negative responses from adults, and this reinforces the behaviors

  5. Schools • Problem Behavior syndrome: school failure and problem behaviors have common causes (impulsivity, aggression, low self-control, etc) • Another possibility is that school failure leads to low self-concept and then delinquency

  6. Schools • Children who are poor are more likely to have problems in school and become delinquent • Middle class measuring rod, expectations of teachers

  7. Other factors • High school pressures, student cliques and stereotyping, alienation of some students • Curriculum problems • Tracking • Non-college tracked students do more poorly, participate less in school activities, more likely to be delinquent and drop out

  8. Tracking • Students locked out of opportunities • Stigma associated with tracking (might begin at the lower grades) • Impact of labeling • Evidence is mixed with respect to delinquency

  9. Dropping out • Youths with antisocial histories are likely to increase their criminal activities after dropping out • Youths who drop out for other reasons are less likely to become criminal • Some dropouts actually decrease delinquent activity after dropping out • Should there be compulsory education?

  10. Schools • Schools with lower delinquency rates have: • Core of motivated students • Nurturing environment • Fair (not arbitrary, not excessive) but firm rules • Smaller schools do better than larger ones (supervision issue)

  11. Schools • Condition of buildings, etc., not as predictive as other factors • Lowering student-teacher ratio helpful to a limited degree

  12. School prevention programs • DARE and other substance abuse prevention programs • Continuation of school for pregnant teens • Special programs such as anger management, conflict resolution, peer mentors, tutoring, social services, dropout prevention • Alternative schools

  13. Prevention • School resource officers (SROs) • After school programs • Life skills programs such as problem solving, stress management, basic competencies

  14. Suspension/expulsion • Problems • Suspension may be reinforcing, sends a mixed message (alternative school) • Suspended student might be inadvertently rewarded by parent(s)—school has no control over ensuring that it is punitive • Suspended/expelled students are likely to be unsupervised

  15. Suspension/expulsions • Likely to have an academically detrimental effect • Might solve the school’s problem, but create new problems for the community