The reasons for the failure of aftercare range from organizational factors to the lack of support in the
community, and to the personal traits of youths themselves. Organizational factors include the extreme
fragmentation encountered in the system, the destructive nature of institutional life, and sometimes
arbitrary decision making by aftercare officers. The lack of support systems in the community, including
the inability to get a job, the stigma associated with being a “bad” person, and the lack of mentors to guide
and encourage the youths, also makes it easy to return to crime. Finally, personal factors include an
appetite for drugs and alcohol; an inability to walk away from gang involvement; and conflict with parole
officers, school authorities, and parents.
“Using the information in the chapter, discuss a set of rules that you think juveniles on aftercare would
consider reasonable and that would contribute to reducing recidivism. Explain why you chose the rules
and how each rule would help the juvenile contribute to their community.”
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