"The offender of tomorrow is often the vulnerable child of today."
There is a strong link between reducing risk and building resilience in children and decreasing crime. We know that providing appropriate care and required resources to all children will have great significance for their long term well-being and their development into independent, healthy adults.
When the larger social, political and economic systems within which children live jeopardize the family's resources and create stress on the family unit, problems can arise. As a result, vulnerable children may be at risk for significant and enduring social, emotional, or behavioural problems. These children are more likely to be dependent on public resources over the course of their development, particularly through the child welfare, social assistance, corrections, or mental health service systems.
Prevention works in three ways:
Primary prevention ensures the health of the community as a whole by attempting to stop adverse conditions from developing in the first place (ie. parenting programs, family support, adequate housing).
Secondary prevention attempts to stop a crime from occurring after certain 'warning signs' have appeared - through early intervention in problem situations before they become more serious.
Tertiary prevention, such as law enforcement, ensures that by sentencing a person to prison they will not commit a crime. This is crime prevention 'after the fact' because the person has already broken the law and cannot reverse the effects of the original crime.