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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 72184 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Diversion Program for Juvenile Offenders - The Experience of Ingham County, Michigan
Journal: Juvenile and Family Court Journal  Volume:31  Issue:3  Dated:(August 1980)  Pages:53-62
Author(s): M Bauer; G Bordeaux; J Cole; W S Davidson; C Mitchell; D Singleton; A Martinez
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
Washington, DC 20203
Grant Number: MH29160
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In an experimental Michigan juvenile court diversion project involving highly organized intervention into offenders' lives by student volunteers, the project's subjects showed lower recidivism rates than members of control groups.
Abstract: The project was a joint effort between the University of Michigan and the administration and staff of the Ingham County Juvenile Court in Lansing. The goals of the project included creating a program model for the use of courts and providing effective services for youths. Referral to the project was designed to occur after charges against a youth were upheld at a preliminary hearing, and the youth admitted his guilt and agreed to participate. However, 25 percent of referred youths were randomly put into control groups. From 1976 to 1978, 132 youths, mostly white males from the 5th to 10th grade, participated in the project or control groups and were evaluated over a 3-year period. Most of their offenses were misdemeanors or minor felonies. Student volunteers serving as youth counselors were carefully screened and given special training; they were matched to each youth by sex, race, and interests. Each course of intervention lasted 18 weeks at 8 hours a week. Activities during offender-volunteer sessions varied, but the volunteers worked on establishing good relationships with their charges, helping assess problem areas, and working out strategies to deal with bad behavior or difficulties. Each juvenile offender's progress was regularly evaluated. Thus, unlike some similar experiments, the project used highly structured and intense intervention techniques. The project resulted in recidivism rates for participating youths of 40 percent after 1 year out of the program, versus 80 percent for the control group. A table and footnotes are included.
Index Term(s): Intervention; Juvenile court diversion; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Juvenile diversion programs; Juvenile Recidivism; Michigan; Volunteer programs
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