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Arbitration Intervention Worker (AIW) Services: Case Management Overlay in a Juvenile Diversion Program

NCJ Number
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation Volume: 43 Issue: 4 Dated: 2006 Pages: 7-26
Norman G. Poythress; Richard Dembo; Gary DuDell; Jennifer Wareham
Date Published
20 pages
This first in a series of related articles in this special journal issue on a juvenile clinical trial in Hillsborough County, Tampa, FL describes a case-management intervention for delinquent youths participating in a juvenile diversion program.
The case-management intervention, called the Juvenile Arbitration Intervention Worker (AIW) service, was an experimental intervention provided as an overlay for a randomly assigned sample (n=81) of approximately half of the youth participating in the county's Juvenile Arbitration (JA) program. The JA program is one component of a larger Juvenile Diversion Program that includes other programs. It is available primarily to first-time juvenile offenders charged with relatively minor offenses. As with diversion programs generally, JA offers youths an alternative to formal adjudication in court. Participation in JA is voluntary. Accompanied by their parents, youths assigned to JA meet with a counselor, who assigns sanctions that the youth must complete in order to satisfy the diversion requirements. Common categories of sanctions include restitution, psychoeducational groups, substance abuse monitoring and treatment, and violence prevention. The AIW experimental intervention involved an overlay to the usual JA features. It consisted of intensive case-management services provided by trained paraprofessional staff called Arbitration Intervention Workers. AIW services were provided for up to 16 weeks, beginning from entrance into JA. The intensive case work involved working with the family unit in order to identify either existing strengths that could be the foundation for change or problems that required attention through referral to community services. In addition to describing the details of the intensive case-management services, this article explains the recruitment of AIW staff, the screening and preintervention training of AIWs, and ensuring the integrity of intervention services. 24 references