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Therapeutic Change, Length of Stay and Recidivism for Incarcerated Juvenile Offenders

Award Information

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Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2012, $220,054)

The purpose of this research is to examine the relationship between therapeutic skill acquistion and recidivism for youth committed to longer term incarceration. Specifically, the study of research questions address the following areas: 1) The relationsip between the mastery of different skill sets and recidivism; 2) How skill acquisition may be moderated by gender, ethnicity, length of stay and positive beliefs about treatment; and 3) the predictive benefit of skill level acquisition in risk tools for recidivism and whether this is moderated by other risk and protective factors. Since 2001, the Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration (JRA) in Washington State has implemented a Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) treatment program termed the Integrated Treatment Model. Youth who are housed in JRA institutions receive 90 day reviews on treatment progress towards specific skills identified in an initial treatment plan. Further, since 2011, JRA has implemented a comprehensive assessment tool (Integrated Assesment Tool) that captures a range of risk and protective factors as well as scores on skill domains both at admission and prior to release. This study will gather data on JRA youth participating in a pilot assessment project that gathers information about skill acquisition for a total sample of n = 800 youth. The study sample will reflect the JRA general population in demographics (African American, 19%; White, 45%; Hispanic, 19%; Other, 10%, Native American, 2%; Asian, 4%; Male, 92%). Assessment and treatment data will be gathered from JRA administrative data managment systems and recidivism data will be obtained through the Washington State Center for Court Research. Data analyses will test the relationships among therapeutic skills and recidivism using path analyses, confirmatory factor analyses and prediction models (ROC curves). The University of Washington and the Juvenile Rehabilitation Adminstration will collaborate closely throughout the study to define study goals, methods, data analyses and interpretation of data. The University of Washington will develop specific recommendations for JRA based on the findings of the study that relate to treatment planning as well as developing tools for risk assesement. In addition, the principal investigators, with JRA, will develop reports for presentations and peer-reviewed publications that will outline similar recommendations for practice.ca/ncf

Date Created: August 27, 2012