ERIC Number: ED436605
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Sep
Detention Diversion Advocacy: An Evaluation. Juvenile Justice Bulletin.
Shelden, Randall G.
The juvenile justice system is exploring alternatives to the use of secure facilities as a means of juvenile crime control. Some of these alternatives are known as diversion programs. This bulletin offers an overview of the diversion programs and evaluation findings from the Detention Diversion Advocacy Project (DDAP), a disposition case advocacy program operated in San Francisco, California, under the auspices of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice. Diversion is an attempt to divert, or channel, youthful offenders from the juvenile justice system. The concept behind the DDAP approach is disposition case advocacy, the efforts of lay persons or nonlegal experts acting on behalf of youthful offenders at disposition hearings. The case management model provides frequent and consistent support and supervision to youth and their families. The evaluation of the DDAP program concentrated on 271 youthful offenders in DDAP and 271 comparisons. Findings suggest that, if recidivism is the key measure of success, youth referrals to DDAP have been more successful than those not referred. Data from the study do suggest that the risk scores developed for study participants are, in themselves, relatively poor predictors of outcome. However, when one puts the accuracy of the risk scores aside, findings still show that DDAP accepted youth, who might otherwise have been in detention for days or weeks, had recidivism rates that were nearly 50% less than the comparison group. These findings support the idea that intensive supervision over time, coupled with placement in community-based programs, enables the DDAP youth to lead relatively normal lives and reduce the likelihood of further contact with the juvenile justice system. (Contains 9 tables and 51 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Department of Justice, Washington, DC. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.