• Stine Tolstrup Sigaard
This thesis is produced in collaboration with Center For Tværfaglig Forebyggelse (Center of Cross-disciplinary Prevention) in the municipality of Aalborg and has vulnerable adolescents and after-school jobs as the main topic. In the municipality of Aalborg, part of the preventive work is to implement adolescents, who are considered vulnerable and exposed for a potential criminal trajectory or already has begun their criminal career, in an after-school job. This is based on the existing literature within the field, which suggests that after-school jobs have a preventive effect on the criminal behavior of vulnerable adolescents. This thesis aims to investigate how adolescents, on the verge of a criminal career, experience their implementation in an after-school job as well as whether this refrains from criminal activities, both short-term and long-term. The empirical material within the thesis consists of nine qualitative interviews. Six of these involve adolescents, who are exposed to and in risk of conducting criminal behavior, while three interviews are conducted with professionals, who are experts within the area.
Based on the collected empirical knowledge, which is supported by the existing literature as well as criminological theoretical perspectives, the thesis finds that this group of adolescents benefit from pertaining an after-school job. They experience pride and satisfaction by being able to obtain and maintain a job, and their job thus becomes a big part of their identity. Friends, family and employers show recognition and affirmation due to their efforts, which results in feelings of success and a heightened belief in themselves. Several informants have previously experienced prejudice about their behavior, which has led them to being labeled as criminals, which easily can create a self-fulfilling prophecy. By obtaining an after-school job, the adolescents show, that this labeling is not true, which has a preventive effect.
The adolescents need a place to belong and a sense of community – whether it is healthy or unhealthy. If they can’t become part of a healthy community, they will find a sense of belonging in an unhealthy environment, where recognition is harvested by boundary pushing behavior, which over time can lead to criminal behavior. Thus, becoming part of a healthy social environment can refrain from criminal behavior, which can be found within an after-school job. The job becomes a replacement, which often occurs after a specific action or episode, that could have had fatal consequences for the adolescent, and therefore becomes a turning point into a new way of life. Furthermore, the thesis finds that an after-school job creates an improved social well-being, a greater effort in school, as well as a higher level of ambition for the future, which all emanates in crime prevention for now and in the future.
Publication date2022
Number of pages69
External collaboratorAalborg Kommune
Centerleder Fritidscenter Smedegården Frank Nielsen fas-fb@aalborg.dk
ID: 481205281