The hours between the end of the school day and when parents return from work is a risky time for young people, and research has demonstrated that serious and violent crime committed by youth increases between these times.
DJJ partners with local churches, community centers, and other youth serving organizations across the state to provide Teen After-School Centers (TASCs). These centers offer structured time, activities, and supervision between the end of the school day and when parents return from work, which is a risky time for young people, and when serious and violent crime committed by youth increases. This nationally recognized program is specifically designed to reduce the likelihood that participants could be incarcerated and is geared toward those youth in need of additional structure and assistance, often supplementing the normal supervision that DJJ provides to youth on probation, parole, or on contract.
TASC provide youth with many opportunities including:
- Attending sporting events and visiting state parks, libraries, and colleges;
- Educational support and after-school tutoring;
- Development of employability skills and job placement;
- Contact between youth and positive adult role models;
- Spiritual development and recreation;
- Community service and victim restoration;
- Parenting groups and youth life skills development;
- Conflict resolution and anger management;
- Gang prevention and intervention;
- Computer Labs and instruction.
Youth can be referred to a TASC program by different sources including the Family Court, law enforcement, local school resource officers and school staff, DJJ staff or their parents. Local DJJ offices help each TASC program screen applicants to verify that they meet the criteria for admission to the program, and special emphasis is placed on youth currently involved with DJJ.