Training schools were compared to alternative program placements with respect to their impacts on the recidivism of juvenile offenders, based on data from 266 juvenile delinquents who were remanded to Texas Youth Commission facilities in 1983.
Data over a 12-year period were examined. A proportional-hazards model was used to predict time until rearrest as a function of individual characteristics, criminal history, family factors, program placement, and delinquency risk. Sixty-nine percent of the delinquents were rearrested during the follow-up period. Being male, of younger age at the time of commitment, and in an institutional program prior to parole significantly increased the chance of rearrest. Although program experience did not affect the overall incidence of recidivism, it did affect the timing of subsequent criminal acts. Youths placed in alternative programs had significantly longer survival times until rearrest than did youths who had been in institutions. These effects were greatest for the youngest offenders. An important benefit of alternative programs may be to lengthen a window of opportunity for additional rehabilitative efforts and interventions during parole. Tables, figures, and 57 references (Author abstract modified)
Date Published: January 1, 1998
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