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Evaluation of Utah's Early Intervention Mandate: The Juvenile Sentencing Guidelines and Intermediate Sanctions

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2002
109 pages
This document provides an evaluation of the effectiveness Utah’s Juvenile Sentencing Guidelines and Intermediate Sanctions in reducing recidivism among young offenders.
Utah’s Juvenile Sentencing Guidelines were designed as an early intervention tactic to provide intensive supervision and service development between regular probation and community placement. This document provides an evaluation of the effectiveness of this program in curbing recidivism among youthful offenders. Results show that, in general, Utah successfully implemented the program. Sixty new full-time probation officers were hired and caseloads were reduced from an average of 29 in 1996 to 20 in 1999. Furthermore, the frequency of contact between the juvenile offender and the probation officer has substantially increased. The rate of recidivism has similarly been affected: those offenders on probation in 1999 had fewer offenses during a two-year follow-up period and a longer period of elapsed time before being charged with a subsequent crime. The researchers state the effect of Utah’s new program for juvenile offenders is modest in its ability to deter recidivism. While those offenders who participated in the new program had fewer offenses in the year following probation, their levels of re-arrest in the future matched the population in general. The researchers found that age start of probation, number of prior arrests, and sex were more predictive of recidivism than was participation in Utah’s new Juvenile Sentencing Guidelines. The authors offer several recommendations to increase the success of the model program, including providing training for prosecutors and defense attorneys. Tables, references, appendices

Date Published: March 1, 2002