Free Article: Juvenile Justice Interventions

offrehabThe Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, published by Taylor & Francis, has made the following article available free of charge until the end of 2014. To access the article please click the title of the article below. To download a PDF of the article, please click here.

Juvenile Justice Interventions: System Escalation and Effective Alternatives to Residential Placement


STEPHANIE BONTRAGER RYON, The Justice Research Center, Tallahassee, Florida, USA
KRISTIN WINOKUR EARLY, The Justice Research Center, Tallahassee, Florida, USA
GREGORY HAND, The Justice Research Center, Tallahassee, Florida, USA
STEVEN CHAPMAN, The Justice Research Center, Tallahassee, Florida, USA


The overarching goals of the evaluation are to assess the use of community-based interventions as an alternative to residential commitments for delinquent youth, and determine why some youth escalate from community-sanctions to residential placement. Using logistic regression and propensity score matching techniques, the study examined pathways through the continuum of care, and the relative effectiveness of probation and residential dispositions. All youth disposed to either juvenile probation (n = 2,823) or residential facilities (n = 269) in Connecticut between July 1, 2005 and June 30, 2007 were included in the study. The results demonstrate that delaying delinquency and increasing family protective factors help prevent youth escalation through the system. Further, an assessment of comparable probation and residential placements revealed that probationers had significantly lower recidivism than those placed in commitment programs. These findings suggest that community-based supervision is an effective alternative to more restrictive and costly residential services for some juvenile delinquents; and highlight important considerations for reducing system escalation.

KEYWORDS: community-based programs, juvenile, probation, recidivism, residential

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