Program

Oct 29, 2009

OVERVIEW

Paint Creek Youth
Center (PCYC) provides a residential program providing many intervention
services to seriously delinquent youth. The youth were randomly assigned to the
PCYC or treatment as usual for youth with records this serious, a regular
training school. This program has not been found to have impacts on
official-report or self-report recidivism.

DESCRIPTION OF
PROGRAM

Target
Population: 
Delinquent male teens

The PCYC provides
about 30-35 beds, has no locked doors, fences, or other such restrictions. The
program consists of a Problem Oriented Record System (PORS), privileges for
positive behavior and punishments for negative behavior, cognitive/behavioral
training methods, daily group sessions, family group therapy, and intensive
aftercare. The lack of locked doors is balanced by close staff supervision and
Positive Peer Culture (a system whereby juveniles hold one another accountable
for their actions; Vorrath & Brentro, 1974). The PORS is used to track problems.
Family group therapy occurs twice monthly and the family joins the juvenile in
their regular group therapy. Transportation is provided when necessary. The PCYC
juveniles were in the residential part of the program 27 percent longer than the
control youth (376 days on average versus 295 days). This does not include youth
who were removed early for disciplinary reasons, which would make the difference
larger (327 days on average versus 33 days).

Program Costs in
1988 dollars: 
$76.56 per day without aftercare – $81.74 per day with
aftercare – about $29,653 per youth. The cost of the control group was $88.60
per day – about $26,137 per youth

EVALUATION OF
PROGRAM

Greenwood, P.W.
& Turner, S. (1993). Evaluation of the Paint Creek Youth Center: A residential
program for serious delinquents. Criminology, 31(2): 263-279.

Evaluated
Population: 
The sample consisted of detained adolescent males (N=149) in
southwest Ohio. Most participants were white, 62 percent. The mean age was about
16 years old for both groups. Many youth were on probation or parole at the time
of their arrest, 37 percent. Many youth were also free on the street at the time
of their arrest 42 percent.

Approach:
Young males were randomly assigned to the PCYC intervention group or regular
training school control group. Six months after survey placement, the youths
were interviewed on background information, including illegal behaviors. Other
information was collected from the Department of Youth Services (DYS) files.
Information was also gathered by interviews with a sample of staff at PCYC and
the two control institutions (DYS). One year after the youth was released from
the program, he was interviewed again and data were also gathered from DYS
files.

Recidivism
was the main outcome analyzed in this evaluation. Official reports of arrest,
self-reported criminal behaviors, and drug use were used to measure recidivism.
The authors also noted completion rate and average length of stay.

The following
specific outcomes were examined: (official-report) homicide, rape, robbery,
assault, burglary, theft, weapons, drugs, “miscellaneous crimes,” parole
violations; (self-report) tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, LSD, cocaine, heroin,
uppers, downers, or “other drug.” The following self-report outcomes were also
examined: steal or try to steal a motor vehicle, such as a car or motorcycle;
steal or try to steal something worth more than $50; attack someone with the
idea of seriously hurting or killing him or her; get involved in gang fights;
have or try to have sexual relations with someone against their will; use force
or strong-arm methods to get money or things from other people; and break or try
to break into a building or vehicle to steal something or just to look around.

Results:

The PCYC youth were
not significantly different from the control youth in 12-month official-report
recidivism rates. They were separated by percent with any arrests and percent
incarcerated at the state level. Within these two categories, the percent who
committed the crimes of homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft,
weapons, drugs, “miscellaneous,” or committed parole violations were noted. When
taking into account background characteristics, there were still no significant
differences. Looking at the official-report time to first arrest, there were no
significant differences between the control and PCYC groups.

There were no
significant differences between the PCYC group and control group on self-report
recidivism. A greater proportion, although not statistically significant, of
experimental youth reported committing at least one of the self-report crimes
during the 12-month follow-up period compared with control youth (75 percent
versus 62 percent).

Drug use did not
differ significantly between the experimental and control groups (with regard to
the use of tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, LSD, cocaine, heroin, uppers, downers,
or “other”).

SOURCES FOR
INFORMATION

Greenwood, P.W. &
Turner, S. (1993). Evaluation of the Paint Creek Youth Center: A residential
program for serious delinquents. Criminology, 31(2): 263-279.

Vorrath, H. &
Brentro, L.K. (1974). Positive Peer Culture. Chicago, Il: Aldine.

 

KEYWORDS:
Adolescence (12-17); Youth (16+); Community-based; Aggression; Externalizing
Problems; Conduct Problems; Violence; Delinquency (e.g., truancy, vandalism,
theft, assault, etc); Alcohol Use; Tobacco Use; Marijuana Use; Illicit Drugs;
Juvenile Offenders; White or Caucasian; Black or African American; Cost; Any
substance use.

Program
information last updated 10/29/09