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NCJ Number: 78322 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Evaluation of a Juvenile Diversion Program - Using Multiple Lines of Evidence
Journal: Evaluation Review  Volume:5  Issue:3  Dated:(June 1981)  Pages:283-306
Author(s): M W Lipsey; D S Cordray; D E Berger
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 24
Sponsoring Agency: California Office of Criminal Justice Planning
Sacramento, CA 95814
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The uses of multiple lines of evidence to improve the validity of evaluation research results are explained and applied using an evaluation of a juvenile diversion program.
Abstract: Use of several lines of evidence can reduce the inherent ambiguity of evaluation. The techniques for diversifying and bolstering evidence on treatment effects can be grouped into four categories: multiple measures, multiple research designs, multiple analyses, and supplementary data collections. These tactics were used to evaluate a juvenile diversion program affiliated with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The program provides social services, mainly individual or family counseling, through over 40 community agencies which are on contract to the program. Program goals are to provide a community-based alternative for arrested juveniles who otherwise would have been referred to the juvenile justice system and to reduce juvenile delinquency. To determine whether the program was fulfilling these goals, information was examined on the use of the diversion option by the police, trends in probation referrals, recidivism, and arrest trends. The various measures, research designs, and data stratifications produced convergent results, which indicated that the program had little success in decreasing referrals to the juvenile justice system but produced a positive delinquency reduction effect. Findings suggested that the counseling provided in the program represented a mild treatment which was effective for some juveniles but was insufficient for the older, more experienced delinquents and for whom more intensive services might be needed. Findings also indicated that the state of the art in evaluation research will advance more rapidly if the use of multiple research designs and multiple lines of evidence increases. Tables, notes, and 20 references are provided.
Index Term(s): California; Community-based corrections (juvenile); Diversion programs; Evaluation; Evaluation techniques; Family counseling; Juvenile court diversion; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Mental health services; Program evaluation
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