Program

Sep 26, 2013

OVERVIEW

The Intensive
Supervision Program in Detroit, Michigan is for juvenile offenders who are
eligible for commitment to the Department of Social Services but who are free of
psychiatric disturbances, have a potential home in the community, and had not
been charged with a very violent offense. These adolescents are normally placed
in special schools or private institutions. In this study, the adolescents were
randomly assigned to one of four groups (three in-home treatment groups, each
with intensive probation, and a treatment-as-usual group). For official data,
after two years, the significant results were mixed: mean number of charges
(higher in the program group, negative), mean number of criminal charges (higher
in the program group, negative), mean charge seriousness, mean number of months
incarcerated, and mean number of months at large. Self-report delinquency was
not significantly different.

DESCRIPTION OF
PROGRAM

Target
Population: 
Juvenile offenders who are eligible for commitment to the
Department of Social Services

This evaluation
groups three in-home programs with intensive probation services, small caseloads
(6-10 per caseworker), and frequent contact between the caseworker and the
juvenile (although it varied across programs – 2.49 contacts per month, 1.83 per
month, and 0.70 per month).

Cost information:
The average per-diem costs of out-of-home placement (like the control group) was
$79.56 in 1983 and $104.20 by 1986. The per-diem costs of the in-home programs
(like the treatment groups) was $26. The authors estimated the costs of
commitment had the young men in the sample been placed in an institution or
special school to be about $11.6 million from 1983 to 1986. They estimated the
cost of the program to be about $2.7 million from 1983 to 1986.

EVALUATION OF
PROGRAM

Barton, W.H. and
Butts, J.A. (1990). Viable options: Intensive supervision programs for juvenile
delinquents. Crime & Delinquency, 36(2): 238-256.

Evaluated
population: 
Male juvenile offenders (N=511) were eligible for this study,
and they had no very violent offenses, no documented history of psychiatric
disturbance, and a potential home in the community. Their history made them
eligible for commitment to the Department of Social Services. Of the adolescents
in the study, 68.7 percent were black, and 67.2 percent were from single-parent
households. Of the adolescents, 58.3 percent came from a house in which no adult
was employed. The average age was 15.4 years old. Two-thirds were under age 16,
and 68.9 percent had been on probation before. The study population had an
average of 3.2 prior charges.

Approach:
The three treatment programs did not differ from one another in terms of
outcomes and were analyzed together as one treatment group versus the control
group. The treatment group males remained in-home while the control group males
were given out-of-home placements. The authors collected data from six sources:
(1) youth reports, (2) parent reports, (3) juvenile court records, (4) adult
court records, (5) case files, and (6) program staff reports. They collected
demographics, official offenses, most recent offense, prior offenses, and
recidivism from juvenile court records. Only findings for official charges and
self-report delinquency are presented and discussed.

Results: The
positive impacts for the official data were the following: mean number of
charges, mean number of criminal charges, mean charge seriousness, mean number
of months incarcerated, and mean number of months at large (i.e. months not
locked up) across the two-year follow-up period. The negative impact found was
mean number of charges and mean number of criminal charges. Both were higher in
the program group than the control group.

Self report
delinquency did not significantly differ between the program group and the
control group, except in the case of violent crime. Program juveniles committed
fewer violent crimes than the control group. The self-report differences found
reflect the greater time spent in the community by the treatment groups and the
greater number of status offenses. Furthermore, a cost-benefit analysis
estimated $8.9 million in savings over the three years the program took place.

SOURCES FOR MORE
INFORMATION

References

Barton, W.H. and
Butts, J.A. (1990). Viable options: Intensive supervision programs for juvenile
delinquents. Crime & Delinquency, 36(2): 238-256.

KEYWORDS:
Adolescence (12-17), Community-based, Juvenile Offenders, White or Caucasian,
Black or African American, Delinquency, Male-specific, Cost.