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NCJ Number: 67908 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: DIAGNOSTIC STUDY OF THE MASSACHUSETTS CHILDREN IN NEED OF SERVICES PROGRAM - FINAL REPORT
Author(s): R L SPANGENBERG; L R STUDEN; D A DAY
Corporate Author: Abt Associates, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 199
Sponsoring Agency: Abt Associates, Inc
Cambridge, MA 02138
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Publication Number: AAI 78-74
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE REPORT EXAMINES MASSACHUSETTS' PROGRAM FOR STATUS OFFENDER DEINSTITUTIONALIZATION AND TREATMENT IN TERMS OF CLIENT CHARACTERISTICS, PROGRAM IMPLEMENTATION, LEGAL PROBLEMS, USE OF SOCIAL SERVICES, AND COSTS.
Abstract: THE PROGRAM RESULTED FROM LEGISLATION PASSED IN 1973. THE LEGISLATION AIMED (1) TO SEPARATE STATUS OFFENDERS FROM JUVENILE DELINQUENTS BY DECRIMINALIZING STATUS OFFENSES; (2) TO DEAL INFORMALLY WITH STATUS OFFENDERS, ESPECIALLY THROUGH USE OF SHORT-TERM SOCIAL SERVICES; AND (3) TO PLACE RESPONSIBILITY FOR STATUS OFFENDERS WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE. SINCE ESTABLISHMENT, THE PROGRAM HAS EXPERIENCED PROGRAM DESIGN PROBLEMS. RESOURCE PROBLEMS, AND PROBLEMS OF LEGAL AMBIGUITIES. THE PRESENT STUDY WAS DESIGNED TO GENERATE RECOMMENDATIONS TO AMEND THE LEGISLATION TO RESOLVE THESE PROBLEMS. DATA WERE COLLECTED THROUGH COURT RECORDS, INTERVIEWS OF PROGRAM SUPERVISORS, A SURVEY OF COURT STAFF AND SOCIAL SERVICE PROVIDERS, AND RESEARCH OF THE PROGRAM'S LEGISLATIVE AND BUDGETARY HISTORY. RESULTS SHOWED THAT CLIENTS ARE USUALLY BETWEEN AGES 13 AND 16. JUST OVER HALF ARE FEMALES. MANY HAVE SERIOUS EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS. LESS THAN 10 PERCENT HAVE MINORITY BACKGROUNDS. MOST TRUANTS ARE MALE; MOST RUNAWAYS ARE FEMALE. FORMAL PROCEEDINGS MAY BE DEVASTATING FOR THE CHILD BECAUSE THE PARENT IS OFTEN THE PETITIONER AND THE CHILD LACKS AN ADVOCATE. THE PROCESS IS MAINLY A COURT PROCESS AND HAS INVOLVED MORE CHILDREN THAN EXPECTED. DUE PROCESS RIGHTS ARE LOOSELY APPLIED. FREQUENTLY IDENTIFIED SOCIAL SERVICE GAPS INCLUDE A SHORT-TERM SECURE FACILITY, RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS, RESIDENTIAL MENTAL HEALTH FACILITIES, FOSTER HOMES FOR ADOLESCENT FEMALES, BETTER FOSTER HOMES, FOSTER HOMES CLOSER TO THE CHILD'S NORMAL HOME, AND PSYCHIATRIC DIAGNOSTIC AND COUNSELING SERVICES. ANNUAL PROGRAM COST PER CHILD IS $1,279, EXCLUDING GROUP CARE. NUMEROUS RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CHANGING AGENCY POLICY OR PROCEDURES AND FOR NEW OR AMENDED LEGISLATION TO RESOLVE THESE PROBLEMS ARE PRESENTED. FIGURES, TABLES, AND FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Juvenile processing; Juvenile status offenses; Law reform; Massachusetts; Social service agencies; Status offender diversion
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67908

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