Crime in U.s. Schools Remains Unchanged

By: Kristin Gabriel

Violent and property crime rates at the nation's schools during 2005 -- 57 such crimes per 1,000 students age 12 or older -- were statistically unchanged from the 2004 rate of 55 victimizations per 1,000 students.

We see how crime and violence affect children every day, said Brooklyn-based Children of the City Board member Rocco Basile. "We also see how a community can help with after school programs that get parents and kids involved."

One of Basile's personal favorites is the Children of the City after school program in Sunset Park, which is in Brooklyn, New York. Because of the organization's programs, those students who were at-risk students in junior high school are now doing terrific in high school. Plus they are volunteering their free time back into the program to help other students and families in need.

Stephanie, for example, is one of five children in a struggling single parented home. Recently she was accepted into the National Honor Society. Stephanie attributes her recent successes to the support that Children of the City gave her.

Another program known as FutureSafe is a collaborative monthly event attended by 500 children with a much-needed preventative element designed to deter children from drug abuse, delinquency, gang involvement and teen pregnancy. Attending one of these events is often a first step for children when it comes to engaging in structured after school activities and events.

According to a report released in December a year ago by the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and the Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics violent and property, crime rates remained about the same in the year 2005 compared to 2004. Crimes like rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, simple assault and also theft were measured.

In 2005, students ages 15 to 18 were less likely than kids from 12 to 14, to be victims of crime at school. Older students were more likely than younger students to be victims of crime away from school.

Serious violent victimizations were lower at school than away from school for survey years from 1992 through 2005.

Students who observed the use of security cameras at their school increased from 39 percent in 2001 to 58 percent during the year 2005. Of the students in grades 9 through 12 an estimated 43 percent reported drinking alcohol anywhere and four percent reported drinking at school during the 30 days prior to the 2005 survey.

Office of Justice Programs (OJP) provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims.

Programs like Children of the City connects kids and their parents to resources to address their current crises, including educating and empowering them to break the negative and destructive cycles they've grown up with. The goal is to help kids learn to take responsibility to bring lasting change to themselves, their environment, and their community.

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