This report presents the methodology and findings of an impact evaluation of Youth Crime Watch (YCW) programs in three Florida school districts (Broward, Hillsborough, and Pinellas Counties), which implemented school-based YCW crime-prevention activities, including youth patrols of school campuses for the purpose of reporting any misconduct and crime.
The evaluation concluded that there was an increased reporting of incidents of crime and violence in schools with YCW programs compared to schools without the program. Rates of reported incidents of crime and violence were 14 percent higher in middle schools with YCW programs than in middle schools without YCW programs; this was attributed to the increased reporting of incidents in which youth patrols were operating; however, there was no statistically significant difference in crime and violence reporting rates between high schools with and without YCW programs. Rates of major disciplinary actions were lower in YCW high schools than in non-YCW high schools, but did not differ between YCW and non-YCW middle schools. School climate measures were lower in YCW schools relative to non-YCW schools. The evaluation speculates that the increased awareness of on-campus misconduct due to increased reporting may be responsible for this finding. In the participant-level analysis, students who participated in YCW expressed greater willingness to report incidents of misconduct than did other students, which suggests that the YCW programs achieved their goal of increasing student participation in reporting misconduct and crime. Regarding measures of individual development, students who participated in YCW did no better or worse that students who did not participate in YCW. The school-level analysis used panel data to compare report incidents of crime and violence, major disciplinary actions, and school climate data across schools and over time. Data on YCW programs were collected from 172 secondary schools through telephone surveys. 25 figures, 24 exhibits, 13 references, and 4 appendixes with case studies, data collection instruments, school-level statistical model, and participant-level statistical model
Date Published: June 1, 2008
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