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NCJ Number: 72928 Find in a Library
Title: Group Homes - The Early Years, the Later Years
Author(s): J R Warner
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 35
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The development of group homes for juvenile delinquents in the United States since the early 1900's, including Federal Government involvement, is traced; positive and negative aspects of their operation are summarized; and recommendations are made for establishing group homes on a firmer footing in the 1980's.
Abstract: Early efforts at establishing group homes, starting with the role of Judge Mary Bartelme in creating the first U.S. group home in Chicago in 1914, are described. Although the shortage of foster homes in Europe and the U.S. during World War II led to the modern idea of group homes, the State of Wisconsin is credited with the establishment of group homes for juvenile delinquents as a deliberate policy in 1951, when it started placing delinquents in foster homes and on probation as a 'stepping stone' from State institutions to civilian life. By the late 1950's and early 1960's, Wisconsin was also experimenting with group homes as alternatives to incarceration. By the mid-1960's, several States, including Oregon, Minnesota, Washington, and California had established their own group home programs for juvenile delinquents. The Highfields Program begun in New Jersey in 1952 and Utah's Provo Experiment, started in 1960, were forerunners of community-based corrections programs for juvenile delinquents. The start of juvenile group homes was largely supported by local community funds and staffed by volunteers in Boulder, Colorado in 1966. Many group homes adopted token economy, behavior modification programs with mixed results. Often homes received 'seed money' from State planning agencies created by LEAA and Federal funds allocated to States under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Act of 1974, an act meant to remove status offenders from detention and correctional facilities. However, the termination of 'seed money' and the lack of community support for group home programs for juvenile delinquents are creating problems. In addition, research indicates that the group home approach does not reduce recidivism among juvenile offenders, and may even result in a higher rate of recidivism for these youths than that for among juveniles released from institutions. Recommendations for the 1980's include greater justification of group homes on their humanitarian value and cost effectiveness, as well as increased research and education efforts. Sixty-three notes containing references and expanded explanations of textual material are provided.
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; California; Community-based corrections (juvenile); Juvenile group houses; Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act; Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA); Minnesota; New Jersey; Oregon; Status offender diversion; Washington; Wisconsin
Note: Paper presented before the Third Annual National Teaching-Family Association Conference, Kansas City, Missouri, October 15, 1980
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