Program

Sep 24, 2010

OVERVIEW

The Leeds Truancy
Project helps children who are chronically absent by bringing them to court for
adjournment to improve school attendance. For some offenses, juveniles will be
put on probation immediately, where they are supervised by the court in some
way; however, with adjournment, the disposition is postponed to see if there
will be improvement. Adjournments are extra chances, in a sense. In this study,
children were randomly assigned to either the experimental group (adjournment)
or the treatment-as-usual group (supervision). Impacts have been found for this
program on attendance and offenses. No impacts have been found on school
adjustment.

DESCRIPTION OF
PROGRAM

Target
Population: 
truant children

In the Leeds
Truancy Project, the truant children are dealt with by adjournment. Cases are
not adjourned indefinitely. If a child’s attendance does not improve, he or she
is turned over to the social services department for an interim care order. If
there is improvement, the disposition might be that the young person is free to
go.

EVALUATIONS OF
PROGRAM

Berg, I., Consterdine, M., Hullin, R., McGuire, R., & Tyrer, S. (1978). The
effect of two randomly allocated court procedures on truancy. British Journal
of Criminology, 18
(3), 232-244.

Evaluated
Population: 
The children in the sample (N=96) were ages 6 through 15 years,
average age about 13 years. In the sample, the average number of offenses was
about 1. The treatment group was 49 percent male and the control group was 58
percent male. The area in which the children lived was about 41 percent owned
homes. The treatment and control groups had less than 20 percent of their
schools with students having free school lunch (16 percent versus 19 percent,
respectively). The mean class size was about 17 in their schools.

Approach:
The children were randomly assigned to either an adjournment group or
supervision group.The supervision group (treatment as usual) was under
probation, where they were monitored by a social worker or probation officer.
The authors measured attendance, care orders made, and criminal offenses in the
six months after the first court appearance. Attendance was measured in
half-days, of which there were a possible 190. Care orders resulted in a
juvenile staying in a residential facility for observation and assessment.

Results:
There were no significant differences between the adjournment and supervised
group on care orders. The adjournment group missed significantly fewer half-days
of school than the supervised group (67 half days versus 97 half days), and they
committed significantly fewer offenses (0.2 versus 0.9, respectively).

SOURCES FOR MORE
INFORMATION

References:

Berg, I., Consterdine, M., Hullin, R., McGuire, R., & Tyrer, S. (1978). The
effect of two randomly allocated court procedures on truancy. British Journal
of Criminology, 18
(3), 232-244.

KEYWORDS:
Children, Adolescents (12-17); Community-based; Delinquency (e.g., truancy, vandalism,
theft, assault, running away); Juvenile Offenders; Males and Females (co-ed).

Program
information last updated 9/24/10

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