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ERIC Number: EJ841747
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 33
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 51
ISSN: ISSN-1050-9674
Evaluation of the Impact of a Policy Change on Diversion Program Recidivism
Dembo, Richard; Wareham, Jennifer; Schmeidler, James
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, v41 n3 p29-61 2005
Recent Florida legislation changes have resulted in policy modifications reflecting a "get tough" approach to juvenile crime. In 2000, budget cuts by the Florida legislature eliminated one of the state's primary community service-oriented juvenile diversion programs, the Juvenile Alternative Services Program (JASP). JASP was subsequently replaced with other diversion programs, two of which (the Walker Plan and an expanded Arbitration program) permitted greater penetration into the juvenile justice system. This event provided an opportunity for a natural experiment evaluating the impact of potential net-widening effects of these replacement programs compared to those with less justice system contact (JASP and two other diversion programs) on youth participant recidivism. In this study, youth participant recidivism was examined based on new arrests and new arrest charges during an in-program period (from date of program enrollment to exit) and a six-month post-program period. There was no significant difference in in-program recidivism across the five diversion programs. Stepwise multiple regression analyses predicting diversion program recidivism rates for the six-month period following end of program involvement found that youths placed in the JASP program had significantly lower rates of new arrests and new arrest charges than each of the other four diversion programs. Moreover, analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) tests indicated that the mean rate of new arrests and new arrest charges were significantly lower for JASP than the other programs, which were comparable to each other in magnitude. The findings suggest a potential net-widening effect for the JASP replacement programs. In addition, JASP youths had a longer number of days until a new arrest than youths from the four alternative to JASP programs. Theoretical and policy implications based on these results are discussed. (Contains 10 tables and 4 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida