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NCJ Number: 160066 Find in a Library
Title: Tracking Truants
Journal: Los Angeles Times  Dated:(August 16, 1993)  Pages:1-6
Author(s): B Levine
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 6
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A program established in Los Angeles in January 1993 aims to track and catch students who are truant from school before they become criminals.
Abstract: Deputy District Attorney Brenda English, who administers the program, notes that truancy is the single most common factor in the profiles of those who become adult criminals; truancy is a more common factor than dysfunctional families. The Los Angeles program uses deputy district attorneys outside the courtroom to prevent crime. They send notices on official stationary reminding parents that school attendance is mandatory, that the child's failure to comply may result in court action against the parent, and that the parent and child are asked to appear at a meeting. A new law has increased the possible penalty to $2,500, a year in jail, or both. To prevent prosecution, parents must sign in at the school attendance office with the child. The children who do not come to school for 8 weeks after the first group meeting enter a second phase, in which school and community professionals meet individually with the child and parent. So far no prosecutions have occurred. The program appears to be effective. Of 132 truant students in the pilot program, the attendance of all but one changed significantly during the first semester, and the other student changed during the next semester. The program was a semifinalist for the Ford Foundation's 1993 Innovations in Government Award and won the 1993 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties for the abolition of chronic truancy. Case example
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency prevention
Index Term(s): California; Interagency cooperation; Prosecutorial discretion; Prosecutorial diversion; Truancy
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