1. Few studies have examined juvenile recidivism. Most state juvenile corrections agencies do not routinely collect these data. Moreover, there is no consensus on how to measure juvenile recidivism. Studies that have examined juvenile recidivism employ a number of different indicators, including (1) the proportion of youth who do not engage in criminal activity during a specified period of time, (2) the incidence or frequency of reoffending before and after intervention, and (3) the severity of crimes committed before and after intervention.
2. Lipsey determined this figure by examining the effects of interventions on recidivism (i.e., police contact or arrest) using meta-analytic techniques on 200 separate studies. An effect index was computed as the mean difference between the treatment and control groups divided by the pooled standard deviation. The overall mean recidivism value for treated juveniles was .12 standard deviation units lower than for the control group. This effect index can be interpreted to mean that the recidivism rate was lower for juveniles receiving intervention than for those in the untreated control group. In other words, a mean effect size of .12 is equivalent to the difference between a 44-percent recidivism rate for treated juveniles and a 50-percent recidivism rate for the untreated control group.
3. Research on individual intervention programs often lacks sufficient statistical power (i.e., sample size) to detect a significant positive effect. Therefore, researchers use the aggregating power of meta-analyses to study intervention programs.
4. Using control group results from available studies, the researchers estimated that the recidivism rate for both institutionalized and noninstitutionalized juveniles would be approximately 50 percent without treatment.
5. See Sontheimer and Goodstein, 1993; Sealock, Gottfredson, and Gallagher, 1997; Greenwood, Deschenes, and Adams, 1993; Deschenes, Greenwood, and Marshall, 1996; and Deschenes and Greenwood, 1998.
6. Token economies are part of a reinforcement system that provides token awards to motivate individuals to modify behavior.
7. Participation in the IAP demonstration by a fourth site (Essex and Camden Counties, NJ) ended in 1997. After a promising first year of implementation, program development stalled and the project could not be reinvigorated. The New Jersey site ceased participation in December 1997.
8. With outside technical assistance, IAP sites developed risk measurement tools using a cohort of juveniles released to parole in the early 1990s and outcome measures that included data on any new arrest or revocation within a 1-year period after release. The youth identified as "high risk" on each of the scales had recidivism rates of 60 to 70 percent, depending on the site. In Colorado, for example, the recidivism rate among high-risk youth was 68 percent, whereas it was 41 percent for medium-risk youth and 22 percent for low-risk youth.
9. The Home Builders Institute is the workforce development arm of the National Association of Home Builders.