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Juvenile Diversion Programs - Purdue University

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Alison Greene, PhDDepartmentof Applied Health Science, Indiana UniversitySouthwest Institute for Research on Women, University of ArizonaFamily Impact Seminar Indiana State HouseNovember21,2017
Background onjuvenile diversion programs
Programs that divert youth from involvement in the juvenile justice system; an intervention strategy intended to hold youth accountable without formal court processingGOALS:Reducerecidivism or the occurrence of problembehaviorsMinimizea youth’s involvement in the juvenile justicesystemProvide services to youthReduce system costsReduce unnecessary social control
There are youthwho become involved with the juvenile justice systemforrelatively minor and non-violentoffenseswho have substance abuse and/or mental health treatment needsJustice system involvement may increase their risk andprobability ofreoffendingLabeling youth “delinquent”Exposure to more advance delinquent youthRisk-taking behavior is part of the developmental period of adolescence
Juvenile diversion programs vary in terms of approach, method, and implementation process:
Point of ContactDecision-maker(s)Target PopulationSettingType and Structure
Community-based servicesFamily-involvementConsequences for unsuccessful completionBenefits for successful program completion
impact ofjuvenile diversion programs
Mixed (and limited) results on the impact of juvenile diversionRecidivism ratesEngagement in delinquent behaviorBehavior problems“Net widening”Existing research is inconclusive as to the effectiveness of diversionVariability among programs creates a challenge inassessingeffectivenessYet,promising guidelines regardingprogramcharacteristics
National Cross-site Evaluation of Juvenile Drug Court (JDC) and Reclaiming Futures (RF)Select Key Findings:FINDING 1: Compared to Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOPs),JDCs overallweremore effectiveat reducing substance useamong youth with relatively more substance use at program intake.FINDING2: JuvenileDrug Court/Reclaiming Futures (JDC/RF) programsweremore effectiveat reducing criminal behavior, than non-RF JDCs and IOPsamong youth with relatively more criminal activity at program intake.
FINDING 3: Specific programcharacteristics had desirable impact onyouth outcomes:Having a defined target population and eligibility criteriaUtilization of gender-appropriate treatmentUtilization of policies and procedures responsive to cultural differencesUtilization of a non-adversarial approachCoordination with the school systemUtilization of sanctions to modify non-complianceUtilization of random and observed drug testing
FINDING 4: Integratedsystems of carewereparticularly critical to effectively servingsubstanceabuse treatmentneedsFINDING 5: JDC/RFprograms were more successful at reducing substance use with heavy substanceusers whentheprograms morefullyimplemented:community engagementcollaborative partnershipseducational linkagescommunitytransition
RequireParent/Caregiver ParticipationImproveAccess to JDC ServicesProvideResources forFamily MembersEngageFamilies from the Bench
Importance of goalsImplicit bias and disproportionateminorityrepresentationGuidelines for planning or improving a juvenile diversion programConsistency across programsNeed for additional research
Bishop, D. M., 2000."Juvenile Offenders in the Adult Criminal Justice System,"Crime and Justice27 (2000), for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016).Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health(HHS Publication No. SMA 16-4984, NSDUH Series H-51). Retrieved from Juvenile Justice Reform. (2011). Juvenile Diversion Guidebook. Group, Inc. 2017. “Diversion Programs.” Literature review. Washington, D.C.: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Prepared by Development Services Group, Inc., under cooperative agreement number2013–JF–FX–K002Harris,P.W.,Lockwood,B., Mengers, L, &Stoodley, B. H.,2011. “Measuring Recidivism in Juvenile Corrections.” OJJDP Journal of Juvenile Justice 1(1): 1–16.Holman, B., et al. The Dangers of Detention: The Impact of Incarcerating Youth in Detention and Other Secure Facilities. Justice Policy Institute. No Place For Kids. Available at, J. D., Stevens, S., & Greene, A.(April, 2016). Key Findings of the National Cross-Site Evaluation ofJuvenile Drug Courts and Reclaiming Futures. Paper presented at theReclaiming Futures National Conference,Miami, FL.McCord,J.,Widom,C. S., & Crowell, N. A.2001. “Race, Crime, and Juvenile Justice: The Issue of Racial Disparity.” In J. McCord, C.S.Widom, and N.A. Crowell (eds.). Juvenile Justice, Juvenile Crime: Panel on Juvenile Crime: Prevention, Treatment, and Control. Washington, D.C.: National AcademyPressOJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: Revised on October 10, 2017.OJJDP Statistical Briefing Book. Online. Available: Released on June 01, 2017.Petrosino, A., Turpin-Petrosino, C., &Guckenburg, S. 2013. Formal System Processing of Juveniles: Effects on Delinquency. No. 9 of Crime Prevention Research Review. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services., C. S., Gearing, R. E., Mackenzie, M. J., Brewer, K. B., & Ibrahim, R. 2012. “A Meta-Analysis of Experimental Studies of Diversion Programs for Juvenile Offenders.” Clinical Psychology Review 32: 26–33.Wilson, H. A.., &Hoge, R. D. 2013. “The Effect of Youth Diversion Programs on Recidivism.” Criminal Justice and Behavior 40(5):497–518.
Alison Greene, Ph.D.Assistant ProfessorDepartment of Applied Health ScienceIndiana University(812)





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