Introduction The whole concept of the rehabilitation of juvenile delinquents by means of extending faith and community based services is praiseworthy. The significance of introducing such services that tend to make the youths morally and socially conscious has far reaching impacts in making them have a positive approach to life. In this respect it should be mentioned that both, faith based and community based services are part of the same program that caters to similar ends. But there is a difference between the two in their general approach to youth related issues and especially in their respective areas that they are to deal with.
Difference between faith based program and community based program
The basic difference between the two service types is that while one taps the spiritual and religious sensibilities of a child or youth the other tries to awaken or breed social and moral responsibilities.
The faith based services are planned out with a certain perspective and that is to help the youths regain their faith and at the same time being permitted to practise the faith he wants to (Evaluation Review, p 125). The main intention of emphasizing on faith based program is to cultivate in the delinquents spirituality and also to develop in them a positive and elevated state of mind. It would not only make them self-composed but also make them emotionally mature. To this end youths are to be provided with mentors who would give them the required guidance, support and most importantly encouragement. However, while extending faith based services there must not be any kind of pressure or manipulation to convert the participant into some other faith (Evaluation Review, p 125). One must enjoy complete freedom in choosing one’s faith. The main purpose is not limited to preaching didactic stuff but to develop inner conscience and self awareness or realization among the youths so that they can lead a good life within society.
The community-based services are secular in nature and focuses on areas like strengthening family bonding and practising secular exercises like thinking for a change and character education (Evaluation Review, p 122). The community based services are for those youth participants who have chosen to be put under a secular mentor. The emphasis of the community based service curriculum seems more to be on developing finer sensibilities to appreciate and value relationships and family. Such a service also teaches the social skills like adaptability, acceptance and the ability to reach out. In accordance with the conceptual planning relevant activities to be performed by the participants are also fixed but due to irrevocable problems that range from limited funds to infrastructure loopholes those cannot be implemented.
Suitable program to reduce recidivism
The community based programs are palpable while faith based programs are a little abstract. The former type deals with concrete and evidence based services. Moreover the components that make up the services like character education and motivational interviews have clarity of purpose. Whereas in faith based programs no specific goals or content of the service to be delivered are said to be mentioned. It can be assumed that recidivism could be brought under better control by community based program more than faith based program. However, there is an exception to this. One who truly believes in the concept of faith benefits from it (Evaluation Review, p 148-149). After all it is deep faith in one’s religion that acts as the anchoring force and makes one confident.
As both the programs are meant for children and young people it is important that children can relate to them. This is more so for faith based programs as the whole concept of faith would probably be incomprehensible to those of a tender age unless it is brought to their level of understanding. Therefore both the programs call for realistic and concrete guidelines and proper infrastructure to reduce recidivism. The objective of each program is to make life meaningful to the juvenile delinquents and children in general. As a result the services too must be intellectually and physically graspable to them.
Lane, J &. Lanza-Kaduce, L. ‘Before You Open the Doors: Ten Lessons From Floridas Faith and Community-Based Delinquency Treatment Initiative’. Evaluation Review, 31. 2007. 121-152. Retrieved on 16th March 2009 from www.clas.ufl.edu/users/llevett/participantpool.html