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Mixed Methods Evaluation of a Jail Diversion Program: Impact on Arrests and Functioning

NCJ Number
Journal of Community Psychology Volume: 52 Issue: 4 Dated: May 2024 Pages: 551-573
Date Published
May 2024
23 pages

This article describes a research study that evaluated the effectiveness of the Second Chance or Else (SCORE) program; it provides details on the research methodology, outcomes, and implications for practice.


This mixed methods study had two aims: (1) to examine the effectiveness of a jail diversion program in reducing recidivism and promoting educational and employment outcomes; and (2) to qualitatively explore mechanisms through which the program was effective. Participants were 17 individuals arrested for drug offenses who participated in an intensive, law enforcement-based jail diversion program, and 17 individuals in a comparison group. Arrests were extracted from police records, and education and employment were extracted from program data. Four intervention participants completed qualitative interviews. Arrest rates in the intervention group decreased significantly postintervention, and arrest rates in the intervention group were numerically lower than those in the comparison group. Participants experienced significant increases in employment and driver's license status. Participants also identified mechanisms through which the program was effective. This jail diversion program shows promise in reducing recidivism and promoting adaptive functioning. Jail diversion programs that include mentorship, peer support, and removal of barriers to success may be particularly effective. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: May 1, 2024