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The root causes of youth crime

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A very interesting study on youth crime was recently completed in Canada.The Canadian Research Institute For Law and Family took a look into the lives of 123 young offenders in Calgary to see where they came from, how they got there and where they're going.The results likely wouldn't vary much no matter which major Canadian city was being looked at.Joseph Hornick, the executive director of the organization, joined me Sunday night on my "Crime and Punishment" radio show to discuss their findings.Among the revelations we talked about:-Only about 2.7 per cent of youth in Calgary engaged in criminal activities. Guess that debunks the "all youth today are nothing but trouble" type of mentality we often hear from frustrated citizens.-The more serious offenders tend to get into trouble by age 14, were more likely to have experienced family violence and few engaged in social or leisure activities with their families. They are also likely to have abused drugs and alcohol and have bullied classmates.- Only 10 per cent of the serious offenders had been involved in organized activities after school and none had taken part in adult-coached sports.-Most of the crimes took place Monday to Friday during the day instead of evenings or on weekends.-Criminal behaviour escalates and peaks at about age 14, stressing the need to intervene with children aged 12 or younger.There's a lot more to this study, which is actually just the first of three phases. I strongly encourage you to check it out in greater detail by clicking HERE. You can read an executive summary and highlights.I then encourage you to post your thoughts below.Does this change the way you think about youth crime? Did you find anything surprising here? (The fact most crime happens during weekdays was a shock to me). Does this leave you thinking more affordable community programming - and not just strong sentences - is part of the solution?

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