Data from the Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 1999 National Report document the need for schools and communities to develop strategies for reducing juvenile violence during the hour just after students leave school.
Data indicate that violent crimes by juveniles peak in the afternoon between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.; this occurs only on school days. The time pattern of juvenile violent crimes on nonschool days is similar to that of adults, with a gradual increase during the afternoon and evening hours, a peak between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., and a decline thereafter. The most likely hour of a school day for a juvenile to commit a sexual assault is between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.; more than one in seven sexual assaults by juveniles occur in the 4 hours between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on school days. Data also show that juveniles are at the highest risk of being victims of violence at the end of the school day. These findings on the time patterns for juvenile crime and victimization suggest that after-school programs have more potential for juvenile crime reduction than juvenile curfews that target late-night crimes by juveniles. Strategies that might be pursued include flexible work schedules that would permit parents to provide more direct supervision during the crucial hours just after school closes. Further, local school districts and communities should consider initiating or expanding recreational, sports, employment, mentoring, tutoring, arts, and homework programs as positive alternatives to unsupervised time in a youth's day. 16 figures and 1 table
Date Published: November 1, 1999