WASHINGTON, Oct. 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- A new report from more than 5,000 police chiefs, sheriffs and prosecutors has good and bad news for afterschool program advocates. On the upside, juvenile arrests since 2000 have declined 70 percent while afterschool program participation has increased by more than 50 percent. On the downside, more than 11 million children are still unsupervised in the afterschool hours.
"From Risk to Opportunity: Afterschool Programs Keep Kids Safe When Juvenile Crime Peaks" from Fight Crime: Invest in Kids includes an analysis of FBI and local law enforcement data on school-day crime rates for youth in 46 states. It found a majority of states saw crime spike during the hours from 2 to 6 p.m.
Also referenced is a meta-analysis of 68 programs that found afterschool program participants had higher test scores, GPAs and school attendance than kids who didn't participate. Research shows afterschool programs can save at least $3 for every dollar spent based on increased earning potential, improved school performance and reductions in crime and future welfare costs among participating kids.
The report includes comments from Wyandotte County Sheriff Donald Ash, Red Wing, Minnesota Police Chief Roger Pohlman, Ventura County California Police Chief Ken Corney, former South Salt Lake, Utah Police Chief Chris Snyder, Detroit, Michigan Police Chief James Craig, Burlington, Iowa Police Major Darren Grimshaw, and Knoxville, Tennessee Police Chief Eve M. Thomas.
It also profiles afterschool programs and outcomes in Ventura, CA; the state of Wyoming; New Britain, CT; South Salt Lake, UT, Burlington, IA; Detroit, MI; the Tennessee Valley; and Summerville, SC.
The report was released in advance of the October 24 "Lights On Afterschool" celebration, when more than a million people are expected to participate in more than 8,000 Lights On Afterschool events organized by the Afterschool Alliance.
"This vitally important new report is a powerful endorsement of afterschool programs from the law enforcement community," said Jodi Grant, executive director of the Afterschool Alliance. "Every student needs the chance to learn and grow, in a safe, supervised environment, after the school day ends."
Since the late 1990s, there has been strong bipartisan support for 21st Century Learning Centers, which provide federal funding enabling communities to create afterschool programs uniquely suited to their kids. Funding increased during the administrations of President G.W. Bush and President Obama. President Trump has recommended elimination of the program.
SOURCE Fight Crime: Invest in Kids