Teen crime happens for many reasons. They may want to impress their friends. They may like the thrill. They may not understand how serious their decisions are. They may feel like they have no choice — with financial crimes and limited income, for instance.

One major issue that impacts crime, though, is boredom. When teens were asked, they directly attributed criminal activity to boredom. They said that crime happened when they had little to do and a lack of facilities where they could spend their time.

This type of study really makes it clear why teens benefit from things like sports and after-school activities. It’s about more than simply playing basketball or football, joining the drama club or spending more time with teachers, coaches and their peers. They do enjoy these activities, but one also has to consider that these activities just keep them busy and out of trouble.

In this way, activities can have a dual impact on their future. They develop new skills, hobbies and passions. They also avoid crime. A student who gets accepted to a college on an athletic scholarship may not only recognize that learning to play the sport at a high level was valuable but that avoiding arrest also helped him or her achieve these academic goals.

Unfortunately, teens do not always have enough outlets for their energy or enough options. They get bored, and groups of bored teenagers may take legal risks that they wouldn’t have taken otherwise. If your son or daughter gets arrested, it’s important to know what legal options exist.