It is impossible to be definitive about the causes of youth crime. Youth crime is not caused by a specific, easily identifiable list of factors, but by the presence in a young person’s life of multiple risk factors, and the absence of protective factors. Different individuals respond to those risk and protective factors in different ways.
Instead of discussing the causes of youth crime, it is better to approach the issue by identifying the various risk factors surrounding a youth, and talk about the interventions that can either reduce those risks or increase protective factors in a young person’s life. Protective factors are intervention factors that decreases or removes the tendency in a young person to commit crime.

How it works

Youth crime prevention programmes have different names and do different things, but they all involve activities to help keep young people away from crime and help them adopt positive outlook and lifestyle. Youth crime prevention programme is outcome based, meaning that it has to produce a positive change in the life of the youth.

  • A youth between the Age of 15 – 25 years with risk factors tendencies {prone to committing crime or had committed crime} is brought in by the police, social worker, parents or guardian to the centre for an assistance.
  • An appointment is scheduled for an assessment of the youth, to be accompanied by the police, parent or Guardian. Timeframe of assessment not exceeding three days from the first day brought in.
  • A trained youth life coach assesses the youth, areas include; life desires,personality, behavior, family background and relationship, Education, peers, friends and community where he lives. An assessment is conducted on the friendliest open manner. The purpose of the assessment is to establish the youth background and to identify the root cause of crime / anti social behavior. Upon these findings will the intervention plan be based. A trained youth life coach is not related to any authority or school bodies, and information obtained from the youth is not distributable to the authorities, community members or school bodies. A case file is opened, containing details of the youth, assessment report and intervention plan map. Assessment may take up to 2nd sessions or 3rd session depending level of cooperation from the youth side.
  • Intervention plan is tailor made to meet the established outcome of the individual youth. Intervention plan must be agreed between the family, Youth life coach and the individual youth before it can be implemented.


Intervention activities simply involve identifying of protective factors readily available or establishing new protective factors which will be used as an influencing or remedial tool of change. It is also important to note that there is no specific factor or one size fit all methodology relevant to helping a youth stay away from crime.

Other partners may be required to participate before a sustainable change is seen.

Some of the protective factors activities may include

  • Strengthening of youth and Parent relationship
  • Participating in social and recreational activities through positive lifestyle programme
  • Changing of environment where the youth lives
  • Enrollment in skills development programme
  • Engaging in time framed-Community service
  • Attendance of church and prayer service
  • Mentoring of youth for an agreed period of months
  • Partial removal from family to re-integration with family
  • Referral to substance abuse treatment / rehabilitation
  • Participation in cardiovascular sports activities
  • Advocacy for employment opportunity
  • Advocacy for economic opportunity
  • Acquiring and participation in life skills program and activity
  • After school programme to assist with school works
  • Back to school
  • Support groups participation
  • Friends / Peers acceptance and support
  • Change of friends or peers
  • Provision of food, shelter or clothing / And girls dignity pack
  • Youth at crime risk parental workshop
  • Psychological support through Clinical Psychologist
  • Victim awareness session

Duration of intervention

Duration of intervention maybe be for one day to 3 months, 6 months and may not exceed 12 months.

How to register

-Youth must be between 15 to 25 years

-South African citizen

– must be accompanied by parent, guardian, social worker or police


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