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Effective Community-Based Supervision of Young Offenders

NCJ Number
Chris Trotter
Date Published
December 2012
7 pages
This study examined the relationship between effective community-based supervision of young offenders in New South Wales, Australia and the offenders' rates of recidivism.
Findings from the study on the relationship between effective community-based supervision of young offenders and their rates of recidivism include the following: young offenders whose probation officers were less effective at supervision had higher rates of recidivism than young offenders with probation officers with more effective supervisory skills; young offenders with probation officers who used rewards for good behavior and a non-blaming approach to working with them had reduced rates of recidivism, compared to youth whose probation officers used other methods; and juvenile justice workers who were employed as juvenile justice counselors, as compared to juvenile justice officers, had clients with lower rates of recidivism, 54.5 percent, compared to clients of juvenile justice officers, 73 percent. The primary purpose of the study was to explore the effectiveness of certain supervisory skills on recidivism rates of young offenders in New South Wales, Australia. Data for the study were obtained from direct observation of interviews between 117 young offenders and either a juvenile justice counselor or a juvenile justice officer. The interviews were coded in order to determine whether juvenile justice counselors, who play more of a problem-solving role with young offenders, were more effective at lowering rates of reoffending than juvenile justice officers, whose role is to focus more on compliance and practical issues. The study results indicate that juvenile justice workers who work with young offenders and focus their efforts more on counseling and effective communication skills were more effective at reducing recidivism rates for their clients. Implications for selection and training of juvenile justice workers are discussed. Tables and references