Bourke Community Engagement Impact on Youth Detention


MKT563 Assessment 4:  Kari Steele 


Aim of Simulation: 

Bourke is a town in which Youth are involved in high rates of criminal behaviour (Thompson, 2016).  This simulation focuses on how implementation of a community engagement initiative may impact crime patterns of youths in Bourke.   The specific aim is to assess whether the town should initiate a program such as the Big Brothers Big Sisters Community-Based Mentoring (CBM) (Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development, 2018) program to reduce crime and antisocial behaviour (National Institute of Justice, n.d).  Big Brothers Big Sisters is a community mentoring program which matches a volunteer adult mentor to an at-risk child or adolescent to delay or reduce antisocial behaviours; improve academic success, attitudes and behaviours, peer and family relationships; strength self-concept; and provide social and cultural enrichment (Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development, 2018). 


Model Explanation:

An InsightMaker model is used to simulate the influence of Big Brothers Big Sisters Initiative on Criminal Behaviour (leading to 60% juvenile detention rates) with variables including participation rate and also drug and alcohol use.


1/ ‘Youth’ are defined, for statistical purposes, as those persons between the ages of 15 and 24 (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, n.d).

2/ Youth population (15 – 24 years) makes up 14.1% of the total population of LGA Bourke which according to the most up-to-date freely available Census data (2008) is 3091 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2010).  Therefore, youth population has been calculated as 435 individuals.

3/ Big Brothers Big Sisters Program is assumed to impact LGA Bourke in a similar manner that has been shown in previous studies (Tierney, Grossman, and Resch, 2000) where initiative showed mentored youths in the program were 46% significantly less likely to initiate drug use and 27 percent less likely to initiate alcohol use, compared to control.  They were 32 less likely to have struct someone during the previous 12 months.  Compared to control group, the mentored youths earned higher grades, skipped fewer classes and fewer days of school and felt more competent about doing their schoolwork (non-significant).  Research also found that mentored youths, compared with control counterparts, displayed significantly better relationships with parents.  Emotional support among peers was higher than controls. 

Initial Values:

Youth Population = 435

Criminal Behaviour = 100

40% of youth population who commit a crime are non-convicted

60% of youth population who commit a crime are convicted

20% of youth involved in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Initiative are non-engaged

80% of youth involved in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Initiative are engaged


The variables include ‘Participation Rate’ and ‘Drug and Alcohol Usage’.  These variables can be adjusted as these levels may be able to be impacted by other initiatives which the community can assess for introduction; these variables may also change in terms of rate over time.

Interesting Parameters

As can be seen by increasing the rate of participation to 90% we can see juvenile detention rate decreases with engagement (even with the 20% non-engagement of youths involved in program).  By moving the slider to 10% participation however you can see the criminal behaviour increase.   


From the simulation, we can clearly see that the community of Bourke would benefit in terms of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Initiative decreasing criminal behaviour in youths (15 – 24 years of age) over a 5-year timeframe.  Further investigation regarding expenditure and logistics to implement such a program is warranted based on the simulation of impact.



Australian Bureau of Statistics.  (2010).  Census Data for Bourke LGA.  Retrieved from


Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development.  (2018).  Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Blueprints Program Rating: Promising, viewed 26 May 2018, <>


National Institute of Justice.  (n.d.).  Program Profile: Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) Community-Based Mentoring (CBM) Program, viewed 26th May 2018, <>


Tierney, J.P., Grossman, J.B., and Resch, N.L. (2000). Making a Difference: An Impact Study of Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Philadelphia, Pa.: Public/Private Ventures.


Thompson, G. (2016) Backing Bourke: How a radical new approach is saving young people from a life of crime.  Retrieved from <>


United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).  (n.d.).  Definition of Youth, viewed 24th May 2018,

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