Programs that attempt to reduce the incidence of bullying, a form of violence among children, on school playgrounds, in neighbourhoods, in homes and on the Internet, through a variety of interventions which may include use of an anonymous questionnaire to assess the nature and prevalence of the problem, development and announcement of an intervention program, open discussions of bullying at school and in other venues, increased supervision of children in areas that are "hotspots" for bullying, arrangements for reporting bullying incidents, immediate intervention when bullying incidents occur, development of protective strategies for targets, formation of support groups for victims of bullies, discussions with parents of involved students, and engagement of community members in support of the program. Most bullying prevention programs are school based and target students in elementary, middle and junior high schools. Bullying can be physical, verbal, or psychological; and involves intentional, repeated hurtful acts, words and other behaviour such as name-calling, threatening or shunning committed by one or more children against another.
Programs that use the resources of law enforcement and the media to alert the public when it is believed that a child has been kidnapped and is threatened with serious bodily harm or death. A description of the child, the kidnapper, involved vehicles and accomplices is broadcast in hopes that members of the public will spot the kidnapper and/or child and report their whereabouts to the authorities enabling them to rescue the child. Also included are programs that enable cell phone users to register and receive kidnapping alerts via their wireless phone.
Programs that attempt to reduce the incidence of child abduction through a variety of educational interventions which may focus on children of various ages, parents, people who work with families and/or the community at large. Delivery formats may include fact sheets, safety tip lists and other informational materials; individual or group educational sessions; and general media campaigns.
Programs that involve the business, religious or residential community in planning, funding or implementing a crime prevention program, often in cooperation with the local criminal justice system.
Programs that operate personal property identification registries and/or pay for or provide devices that can be uses or installed on their property which help to deter criminal activity.
Programs that help individuals, organizations and the general public protect themselves against situations in which their access to the Internet or use of a mobile phone or other telecommunications device has made them vulnerable to a crime in which their computer or cell phone is the object of a crime (hacking, phishing, spamming) or is being used by another as a tool to commit a crime. Security measures include use of strong passwords; activating the computer's firewall; installing and updating anti-virus/malware and spyware detection software; avoiding unsolicited emails and text messages that look suspicious or have been sent by a stranger; avoiding public Wi-Fi; protecting personal information on social media; restricting physical access to sensitive information by shutting down computers when they aren't being used; locking mobile devices; and encrypting confidential data to keep it secure. Regularly reviewing bank and credit card statements to quickly catch identity theft and online crimes can help reduce the impact if it has occurred.
Programs that attempt to reduce the incidence of date rape, verbal and physical abuse, threats of abuse and other forms of violence that occur between dating teens through a variety of educational interventions which may focus on potential victims and perpetrators; agency, school or health care personnel who work with them; or the community as a whole. Activities may include classroom-based education, teacher workshops, parent workshops, peer leadership training, counselling groups for males who abuse or threaten a female peer, and community-based workshops for out-of-school youth. Programs may also be available for older people who are dating.
Programs that attempt to reduce the incidence of child abuse, elder abuse and spouse abuse in family settings through a variety of educational interventions which may focus on children of various ages, parents, people who work with families and/or the community at large.
Programs that help older adults, people who live alone and other vulnerable individuals become aware of the scams and con games that are most frequently used to induce victims to part with their money or valuables. Common scams include fraudulent prize offers, "free" travel packages that have hidden costs or which never materialize, "get rich quick" investments that turn out to be worthless, tax debt/refund scams, phony charities with names that are similar to well-known organizations and schemes involving promises to recover an individual's money following their victimization by another scam.
Programs that attempt to reduce the incidence of intimidation, property crimes and violence against individuals on the basis of their real or perceived race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability through a variety of educational interventions that focus on making people aware of the problem, encouraging people to actively condemn behaviours that promote hate crimes, and helping to develop cultural sensitivity in communities that are experiencing tension or where incidents have already occurred.
Programs that work to prevent or reduce the incidence of human trafficking, i.e., situations in which individuals are abducted, sold, recruited under fraud or pretence or otherwise brought under the control of another person and forced into prostitution or other controlled situations against their will, either domestically within their own country or internationally. While women and children are particularly vulnerable to trafficking for the sex trade, human trafficking also includes individuals who are trafficked into forced marriages or into bonded labour markets such as sweat shops or domestic service. Prevention measures may include training for law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges; development of legislation that makes trafficking illegal in source and destination countries; and awareness campaigns for potential victims and the community at large that describe the tactics criminal groups use to coerce and traffic potential victims, what people at risk can do to protect themselves against illegitimate groups, how to identify trafficking victims, the rights of trafficking victims and how to get help. Also included are law enforcement and prevention efforts that focus on the sources of demand for trafficked services; development of responsive and culturally competent trafficking intervention systems that people can trust; and other activities that support the rights and address the needs of trafficking victims, penalize and impede the activities of perpetrators and motivate the community to become involved in the issue.
Programs that offer a variety of activities for youth who are at risk for behaviour which is likely to involve them in the juvenile justice system with the objective of assisting them to improve self-esteem, to become aware of alternative ways of dealing with feelings and leisure time, and to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. Included may be counselling, rap and discussion groups, tutoring, companionship programs, alternative peer group experiences and supervised recreational activities.
Organizations that offer firesetter intervention programs for children and adolescents, some as young as age two or three, who have demonstrated a fascination with fire and who may have set one or more fires accidentally or through curiosity-motivated fire play. Activities generally include an interview with the youngster and his/her parents to determine the motivation for the firesetting behaviour and the severity of the problem; information regarding the appropriate and safe use of fire, child supervision techniques and responsibilities, what to do if a fire occurs and the consequences of setting fires; and a concluding tour of the local fire station. Problem firesetters with deeper problems are referred to the mental health system for counselling or, if malicious criminal intent is involved, are charged with juvenile arson and become the responsibility of the juvenile justice system. Juvenile firesetter intervention programs are often offered by local fire departments in cooperation with police agencies, schools and other community groups.
Programs that attempt to reduce the incidence of prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation and enhance the ability of people to leave or avoid prostitution through a variety of educational interventions which may focus on children of various ages, parents, people who work with families, professionals who work with women and youth who are part of the commercial sex industry and/or survivors, law enforcement personnel, members of the judiciary, public officials, and/or the community at large. The programs may provide information about attitudes and myths related to prostitution and related issues, how young people and others are led into prostitution, profiles of pimps and recruiters, recruitment scenarios, risk behaviours and warning signs, the consequences and repercussions of prostitution, and available community resources.
Programs that offer the services of trained security personnel who accompany people who feel uncomfortable or unsafe walking or biking alone during evening, night or early morning hours to their car, public transit stop or (depending on the program) other destinations. Safety escort services are frequently offered by campus police agencies to students, faculty and staff on college/university campuses but may also be available in urban downtown areas or other settings. Escorts may be equipped with radios which allow them to be in constant contact with law enforcement and offer a safe alternative to walking alone at night. Some programs offer van transportation in addition to walking escorts.
Programs that help people who may be vulnerable to rape, molestation or other forms of sexual assault become aware of the general precautions that can be taken to reduce the risk of becoming a victim, and the alternatives for handling the situation should they be approached or attacked.
Programs that attempt to reduce the incidence of sexual harassment in the workplace, in educational institutions or other settings by helping employers understand the law and their responsibilities regarding the issue, developing sound sexual harassment policies, preparing and implementing awareness and prevention training for administrators and staff, providing confidential and secure reporting procedures for victims and witnesses, conducting appropriate investigations of reported incidents and offering crisis intervention services, when warranted. The program may also provide tips that employees can use to resolve harassment situations themselves and intervention suggestions for employers.
Programs that offer classes that are designed to help offenders accept responsibility for their criminal actions, understand the impact of crime on victims and the community, and refrain from future criminal behaviour. Individual classes may focus on specific types of crimes (generally those involving a personal relationship such as domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse or bullying) or may be intended for a broader range of offenders (e.g., those involved in property crimes, drunk driving, drug-related crimes, robbery, gang violence, homicide). The classes may involve personal presentations by victims of crimes (not specific victims of offenders in attendance but victims in unrelated cases) who describe how their victimization has affected their lives. Victim impact classes have been adapted for both adult and juvenile offenders (the majority being for juveniles) in diversion, probation, prison, pre-release, detention, and parole supervised settings.
Programs that attempt to reduce the incidence of violent acts committed by youth on the streets, in the schools or in other settings through a variety of educational interventions which may focus on children of various ages, parents, people who work with families, the schools, health care providers, law enforcement officials and/or the community at large. The program may provide information about model/promising prevention and intervention programs and crisis response strategies; descriptions of the risk factors associated with youth violence; research including statistics on violence committed by and against children and teens; outreach; and/or presentations that may be tailored for a variety of audiences.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.