The Untapped Potential in Our Communities to Assist Youth Engaged in Risky Behaviour.
By drawing upon what is known about risk factors and protective factors with respect to at-risk youth, the author discusses how communities can become more actively involved and supportive of young people, and thereby work towards a model where the community actively promotes resilience among children and youth. She provides a detailed review of the research around resilience to support her contention that many resources, already present in communities but largely untapped, have the potential to encourage vulnerable young people to avoid developing an aggressive posture towards others, dropping out of school, drifting into a criminal lifestyle, or being victimized. She notes the growing and consistent evidence that poverty, unemployment, abuse, family and school problems correlate to crime, and argues that while one cannot say with any certainty that these factors are the causes of crime, they certainly are the causes of disadvantage. It is the disadvantaged, she states, who are the “most thoroughly processed” by the criminal justice system.
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