Youth Crime Watch
Alabama Expansion Center
Youth Crime Watch Logo The YCWA Alabama Expansion Center is headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama as a program under the Alabama Crime Prevention Clearinghouse (ACPC) under the direction of Linda Wright, who has over 25 years of crime prevention experience. The Clearinghouse is sponsored by Auburn University at Montgomery's (AUM) Continuing Education Division. The YCWA Alabama Expansion Center has established 25 sites. This includes 24 school-based sites and one community-based site, which is affiliated with the Police Athletic League in Selma.
One of the most valuable partnerships in the program has been Ms. Susan Moss, Director of Montgomery Area CrimeStoppers Program. Her office has been promoting the establishment of CrimeStoppers in schools; the programs are called "Scholastic CrimeStoppers." Ms. Moss has established YCW at many sites with Scholastic CrimeStoppers and in some cases has established YCW and CrimeStoppers at the same time at new sites. The YCW programs utilize the crime reporting focus of CrimeStoppers for their Crime Reporting component and the two programs effectively complement each other. Ms. Moss has also established that if a student earns a cash reward for a crime reporting tip via the Scholastic CrimeStoppers but does not want to accept it, the student can redirect the reward to YCW.
One of the most successful elements of the Expansion Center's YCW Implementation Trainings has been holding the trainings off-site, typically at Auburn University at Montgomery. "For many students, this is their first time on a college campus," The students exhibit good behavior and having the students and adults on neutral territory is beneficial. "We put them on a level playing field, and this promotes open interaction between the youth and the adults. We can tell that this is the first time some of the adults have communicated so openly with youth.
On April 1, 2003 the Wetumpka Youth Crime Watch program was highlighted during several broadcasts concerning their accomplishments of three drug busts, elimination of smoking in school bathrooms, and gang problems being reduced. The coordinator of this program is a Juvenile Probation Officer, Paul Griffin, who works with the youth crime watch advisors and is assigned to the Wetumpka schools.
In March at Montgomery's Georgia Washington Jr. High, one student reported another student with marijuana to the YCW Advisor. The suspected student was searched and marijuana was found on the student. The student was charged with Possession of an Illegal Substance. The anonymous student was given a $125 reward from CrimeStoppers for reporting the incident. All the schools that use the crime tip hotline do not have to fear peer retaliation because they remain completely anonymous! It gives students a safe outlet to report crime. The Montgomery Area CrimeStoppers Program operates the anonymous crime tip hotline for all Youth Crime Watch schools in Montgomery, Autauga, and Elmore Counties. Click this link for Alabama YCW Expansion Center Powerpoint for pictures and success stories.
For More Information
- National Youth Crime Watch Program Youth Crime Watch of America Program.
- Youth Crime Watch Training in Alabama sponsored by the AUM Clearinghouse.
- To start a site in Alabama Contact the Clearinghouse.