Motto: previous, "Preventing Juvenile Delinquency by Empowering Communities"; current, "Positive Choices for Youth"
Mission Statement: To provide a process which empowers local residents, organized as Community Committees, to take action aimed at reducing and preventing delinquency.
DuCAP is a non-profit organization based in DuPage County, Illinois, and is associated with ICAP (the Illinois Council of Area Projects). Its conceptual forerunner was the Chicago Area Project founded by sociologist Clifford R. Shaw in 1934. DuCAP itself was created in 1991, and it has the same basic idea behind it: if a community provides more opportunities for youths who (demographically speaking) are likely to become juvenile delinquents or involved in gangs to instead engage in constructive activities, more youths will get involved with those activites and crime rates will go down.
DuCAP is an umbrella organization; it is not directly involved with the lives of the youths it focuses upon. Instead, it sponsors community efforts. Currently, the communities participating in DuCAP are Addison (Bradford Youth Committee), West Chicago (River Woods Community Center), Lombard (Willow Lakes Community Center), Glendale Heights (Teen REACH), and Hinsdale (F.U.T.U.R.E. of South Hinsdale). Bensenville and Wood Dale have projects in the works.
DuCAP is very careful about its image; it does not want community residents to think that it is associated with the police that they mistrust (with good reason), or that it is after their hard-earned dollars. Most of its efforts are directed towards lower-class minority groups; there are large populations of Mexic-Amerindian and Latino, and also Pakistani, immigrants in these Chicago suburbs, whose needs (both basic and emotional) are not being met. DuCAP does its best to help these populations with youth crime issues, without patronizing them or getting ridiculed by the youths as being cheesy. By giving the local residents the power, DuCAP hopes to effect lasting change.