A new survey from Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, an anti-crime organization made up of more than 1,000 police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors, and victims of violence, shows that 86 percent of respondents support the expansion of after-school and school-readiness programs because, they believe, such initiatives help curb violence and crime.

In fact, 64 percent of respondents said programs like 21st Century Community Learning Centers (http://www.ed.gov/21stcclc) and Head Start (http://www2.acf.dhhs.gov/programs/hsb) are more effective in reducing violence than “security measures like metal detectors, surveillance, and policing in and around schools.”

Meanwhile, in a separate poll of teenagers, the group found that children left unsupervised more than three days a week during the peak hours of juvenile crime (between the end of the school day and 6:00 p.m.) are three times more likely than their peers to commit crimes, smoke cigarettes, or have sex—and four times more likely to become a victim of a crime or use drugs.

A majority of teens reported there are too few after-school programs in their community and they would likely participate in an after-school program that offered interesting activities.

http://www.fightcrime.org/backtoschool