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Five Year Outcomes in a Randomized Trial of a Community-Based Multi-Agency Intensive Supervision Juvenile Probation Program

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2010
49 pages
This report presents the findings and methodology of an evaluation to determine the long-term outcomes of an intensive supervision juvenile probation program implemented in several neighborhood after-school centers in high-crime neighborhoods in Los Angeles County.
Over the short term, official records indicated that the new program, called the Youth Family Accountability Model (YFAM), had a positive impact on the youth who were assessed at high risk for future offending at intake. Fewer of the high-risk YFAM youth were rearrested during the program year than their randomly equivalent counterparts who received supervision-as-usual. This result remained stable over the 12 months following the program. Despite these differences in recidivism, however, no differences were found in the percentage of YFAM youth or control youth who remained in the community (as opposed to placement in a probation camp or other facility) at the end of the program. This finding may be due to the increased number of technical probation violation filings and juvenile hall detention commitments received by the YFAM youth during their year in the intensive supervision program. The long-term evaluation (5 years after program completion) failed to produce any favorable findings for the YFAM program participants compared to the control youth. The evaluators recommend that in intensive supervision programs that are likely to detect more probationer technical violations, only the most serious violations should be handled in a court process, so as to prevent deeper involvement with the criminal justice system. In addition, younger, lower risk youth should not be under intensive supervision with higher risk youth. For the evaluation, 1,817 juvenile offenders in 12 catchment areas were randomly assigned to the YFAM program or to the supervision-as-usual control group. Outcomes were measured during and 1 year after program completion and then 5 years after program completion. 13 tables and 57 references

Date Published: December 1, 2010