JAMESTOWN – A college project is fueling the push from a recent SUNY JCC grad to help children from low income families stay away from crime during the summer months.
“Seasonal variations are a big factor in crime,” said Lindsey Swanson, who studied criminology at the college. “My goal is to offer affordable activities they can partake in in the summer.”
Swanson is highlighting that mischievous behavior that can lead children down the path to illegal activity, “all starts at a young age, the friends they hang out with, the activities they do,” which is why it’s so crucial to, “get them out of that type of habit and be surrounded by good people and be doing good things.”
Locally, there are multiple options for kids who may not be able to afford a classic camp experience, but still want a safe and structured summer.
“Some of the activities [that] are available in the community are the YMCA, the Boy’s and Girl’s Club, and we also have places they can visit like the National Comedy Center, or the Lucy Ball Museum, or the Robert H. Jackson Center as well,” noted Swanson.
Referring specifically to the YMCA and Boys’ and Girls’ Club, “They can hang out with friends in a safe environment” for a very low price.
Swanson also underscored that it’s not just tweens and teens that need attention; people aged 17 to 21 have to be a group of focus as well.
“That’s when they’re starting to become adults and they try to do things on their own and that’s when crime can occur,” the recent grad said.
Ultimately, a huge amount of street crime can be limited by introducing structured settings and institutions that discourage questionable behavior. However, Swanson wants to focus on the here and the now: helping parents understand how important it is to enroll their children in some form of supervised summer program.
“I just want them to really be aware of what can happen in low income areas with their children and the street crime that can happen as well,” remarked Swanson.