Divorce and Juvenile Delinquency

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Introduction

Crime can be considered to be one of the toughest challenges that society has tried to manage over the year. This increase in crime has raised the concerns of developing new tactics to prevent crime and reduce the likelihood of crime happening. In order for the decrease in crime to happen, it is paramount that individuals understand the many dynamics of crime and why it is on the steady rise. Research has been shown to identify a correlation between individuals that engage in criminal activity, specifically involving drugs and illegal substances, and poor education.

As jobs become more competitive and scarce in some parts of the country, it is important for individuals to have a proper educational background. Most employers during today’s society require an applicant to higher levels of education than just a high school diploma. Consequently, individuals with subpar educational backgrounds are less likely to acquire well paying jobs. Those individuals that do not have the necessary skills to obtain the higher paying jobs run the risk of engaging in criminal activity to meet the living survival needs for themselves or their family.

Persons that engage in criminal behavior as a means of monetary income do not have to have a higher education or any technical skills. Individuals seeks money through the distribution usually are used as drug smugglers for cartels that are trying to get drugs across the country’s borders. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, in 2016, there were 978, 271 kg of marijuana, 51, 612 kg of methamphetamines, 4313 kg of amphetamines, 200, 720 kg of cocaine, and 7, 173 kg of heroin that were seized in the United States from other countries (Annual Drug Seizures | Statistics and Data, n.d.). These numbers indicates that there is a high number amount of drugs smuggled into the country that did not get seized.

Drugs have been a long time contributing factor in analyzing the increases in crime rates of the past decade. Individuals that habitually use and abuse illegal substances have poorer judgement and as a result, higher a higher likelihood of ending up in a life of crime. With this information of how education and crimes involving illegal drugs, it has become easier to develop different methods that can be used to decrease crime rates and control criminal behavior. This paper will address some of these solutions such as community policing, drug prevention programs, education programs, and rehabilitation and the impact of crime programs on crime rates.

Historical Background Of Programs

For centuries, people have been trying to understand the nature of substance abuse and addiction. However, these searches for the answers have always been limited by the scientific theories and the social stigmas that controlled thinking at that time. Dr. Benjamin Rush was the founder of the first medical school in the U.S. and was an influential researcher of U.S. drug abuse. He had one major obstacle in his research in substance abuse; technology. He wanted to understand the effects of substance abuse at the cellular level but without the technological advances of today’s time, he research fell short (“Opportunities in Drug Abuse Research”, 1996).

Community policing programs exist all over the world for drug use prevention and intervention. In the United States, they play a major role in reducing the amount of drugs found on the streets. However, some speculate the effectiveness of these programs. An example is the national neighborhood foot patrol center. The national neighborhood foot patrol center assists in training police officers, community members and politicians about crimes involving drugs to reduce crimes. This requires the community to actively assist in keeping crime out of the neighborhoods that they live in (Neighborhood foot patrol programs, n.d.).

In 1864, the first hospital opened to treat alcoholism as a mental health condition, The New York State Inebriate Asylum, was founded. During this time, the public began viewing alcoholism and substance abuse as serious conditions and more community groups and sober houses began appearing (The History of Drug Abuse and Addiction Rehabilitation, 2018).

One important collaborative effort worth mentioning is the Council on Alcohol and Drugs. The council on Alcohol and Drug has a long history of helping build and educating the community about the effects of drug and alcohol abuse by using volunteering services. The Council was first established in 1969 as charitable organization named the Metropolitan Atlanta Council on Alcohol and Drugs (MACAD). The organization was created to “serve as a central agency for the purpose of bringing together fragmented efforts into a comprehensive approach to prevent alcohol and other drug abuse” (The Council on Alcohol and Drugs, n.d).

During the 1970s, the council evolved into a traditional agency for drugs and alcohol. The council provided services in areas of education and prevention, advocacy resources, and treatment referrals for alcohol and substance abuse. During the following decade, The Council developed a nationally-recognized alcohol and drug early-intervention curriculum. It also created a school-based middle and high school program called Substance Use Prevention and Education Resource (SUPER I) and the community-based SUPER II program for youth between the ages of 12 to 17 and their parents. It also continued to offer services to the community and offer referrals for treatment available within the community (The Council on Alcohol and Drugs, n.d).

Another notable drug prevention program in history is the establishment of the D.A.R.E. program. In the 1980s, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) realized that law enforcement alone could not stop the use and abuse of illicit drugs within the community. The D.A.R.E program was then established to create a drug education program for elementary school students in 1983 and in 1989, D.A.R.E was first introduced in the high school curriculum. During this time, very few drug prevention curriculums were available for schools to use. The Health Education Curriculum Administrator for the LAUSD, Dr. Ruth Rich, developed the original 17 lesson D.A.R.E. curriculum which discussed specific drugs and their negative side effects (The History of D.A.R.E., n.d.).

The original D.A.R.E. curriculum focused on non-interactive means to provide education. The main approach to the curriculum was to be taught by D.A.R.E. trained instructors that were police officers. During the early developments of the curriculum, no classroom teachers received instruction credits in their training courses. The teachers had no knowledge or training about drug use and abuse or how to deliver the drug prevention lessons. Over the next ten years, there was a major demand for the program to be use throughout the United States and around the world. Increased demands for the D.A.R.E. program allowed LAPD to train other law enforcement officers in other areas (The History of D.A.R.E., n.d.).

Organizational Or Operational Structure

The organizational and operational structure of drug prevention programs constitutes of various tasks. The organizational structure includes supervision and coordination of tasks such as dissemination of information. All these tasks are used to accomplish the main goals of drug and prevention programs and are tailored to each individual organization. Each organization has varying goals and how they reach out to the community and educate.

However, there are some aspects of prevention programs that is the same: to reduce the risk of substance abuse in youth, inform the public of its effects and continue to reduce the crime rates in the country and keep crime out of the communities. Although the main goals of the many different prevention programs are the same, there are different ways in which these programs are ultimately affected by operational and organizational structures. These programs are affected differently in how they follow through their routines and how they deliver information. Another way they differ in structure is the process in which they take to decide who will be involved in the process.

Traditional Practices

Prevention programs have been proven to be effective, but ultimately, families and influential adults continue to play a vital role in how young children may handle the temptation of alcohol and drug use. Recent research have shown that caregivers and adults that have a major impact in the child’s life and who speaks to the child about the issues of alcohol and drug use have lower rates of using in subsequent years in life. Also, it is shown that children that have dinner with parents and or caregivers on a regular basis, are less likely to use and abuse and abuse alcohol and drugs (Prevention, n.d.). Prevention programs can help families by providing mentoring to children and strengthen family skills and communication strategies.

When intervention and prevention practices are used early in a child’s life, the child has a higher likelihood of not using alcohol and drugs. Also, intervention before high school is critical in a child’s life. During high school years, a child is more susceptible to peer pressure from other children. Research suggests that if a child exhibits patterns of substance abuse during high school, the effects are much more than using after high school. Also, it is shown that if a child abuses substances during the high school years, it is much more difficult for them to quit using. During these years, youth are more likely to abuse alcohol and tobacco (Prevention, n.d.).

Innovations And Use Of Technology

Computer programs and cell phones applications are becoming vital instruments for preventing and treating substance use disorders (Vimont, C., n.d.). Technology based prevention interventions usually target youth between ages 10 and 18 years of age who self-report never having used alcohol or other substances. These interventions, often called Therapeutic Education System (TES), consist of interactive, digital, activities designed to increase drug knowledge and change beliefs about substance use to try to prevent or delay the use of substance use (Marsch, L. A., & Borodovsky, J. T., 2016). A major portion of the process of treatment in a facility encompasses the use of various therapies and management to have a favorable outcome.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) has recently published several studies that measure the effectiveness of using computer based programs to change substance use treatments. These programs can track therapies and give doctors the added tools to help monitor the progress of patients in treatment (Christine, J., 2016). Also computer-based training (CBT), which uses multiple learning modules and games to conduct different psychotherapies, including cognitive behavioral therapy. These programs help to retrain the brain to overcome addiction (Christine, J., 2016). Because of the massive advances in technology, this has made drug use and abuse awareness more prevalent inside the home.

Strengths And Weaknesses

Although drug prevention programs have a many benefits for youth, there are some caveats to the intervention. In 2012, Lloyd D. Johnston and his colleagues at the University of Michigan conducted a study, taking samples from different areas of the country. The study revealed that 24 percent of children in the 12th grade, had engaged in binge drinking in the past two weeks during the research. Also, 42 percent of the sample had some alcohol in the past month. In addition to these findings, 1 percent of the children that were in the 12th grade had tried methamphetamine, and almost 3 percent had used cocaine (Lilienfeld, S. O., 2014).

With these alarming numbers backing the need of substance abuse prevention, programs in this area often educate students about the negative effects of drug use. They also teach students the necessary social skills to resist peer pressure and to resist the urge to experiment with drugs, and help students understand that saying no is okay. It is safe to say that these programs are constantly being used, because, on the surface, parents and teachers agree that they work in preventing substance use. However, research has shown that these prevention practices may actually increase the likelihood of a child using substances. The study showed that social interactions involving their peers are more effective than educating them in a classroom setting (Lilienfeld, S. O., 2014).

Conclusion

Drug prevention and intervention programs have been used for decades, and has had a positive impact on the community and the youth within it. They have increased the knowledge that the youth has about the use and misuse of alcohol and drugs and have given youth the necessary skills to also understand the negative consequences of drug usage. These programs help not only keep the youth from being at risk of being involved with criminal activity, but it also decreases the amount of crime within the community.

Programs such as D.A.R.E. and the national neighborhood foot patrol help to educate parents, teachers, and other adults in the community about the effects of alcohol and drug use in teens and how to prevent it. Drug prevention programs have had a major impact of the country and the world, and will continue to provide communities with the proper knowledge and skills to curb alcohol and drug use.

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Divorce and Juvenile Delinquency. (2019, Jul 18). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/divorce-and-juvenile-delinquency/

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