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Delaware's Serious Juvenile Offender Program: An Evaluation of the First Two Years of Operation, August 2004

NCJ Number
Jorge Rodriguez-Labarca; John P. O'Connell
Date Published
August 2004
44 pages
This report presents the results of a 2-year, federally funded evaluative study of Delaware’s Serious Juvenile Offender Program (SJO).
Initiated in 1999 as a collaborative project involving the Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services (DYRS), Family Court and local police, Delaware’s Serious Juvenile Offender Program (SJO) was created to assure the aggressive enforcement of conditions of supervision for high-risk juvenile offenders on probation. This evaluative study, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics was conducted by the Statistical Analysis Center and Office of Budget for the State of Delaware. For this evaluation, re-arrests and re-admissions to secure 24- hour residential placements were analyzed for youth who entered the SJO program during 1999 and 2000. SJO youth were tracked for a minimum of 24 months after entering the program and up to a maximum of 48 months for re-arrests and institutional reentries. Of the 223 youth in SJO, 204 (91 percent) were re-arrested within 24 months of referral to SJO. Of the 204, 63 percent were arrested for at least 1 felony and another 24 percent were arrested for at least a misdemeanor. Juveniles’ lives had not changed, and recidivism was not reduced. The results of the evaluation raise the question of cost and benefits. Tables and appendixes A-C