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Environmental and Personal Factors in a Community-Based Juvenile Offender Intervention
Gerri Hanten; Adam Schmidt
This report presents the preliminary findings of an evaluation of a community-based intervention for juvenile offenders in Houston, TX, for the purpose of understanding the factors that affect the recidivism of youth who have been involved in the justice system.
The five primary goals of this project were to obtain individual and environmental data on 75 youth offenders; to relate these data to recidivism; to link these factors to prosocial change; to examine the influence of mentor and probation officer factors in intervention success; and to disseminate the study findings. The preliminary findings provide support for the effectiveness of community-based interventions in reducing youth offenders' recidivism. Findings also show the importance of factors related to a youth's mindset of "readiness-for-change" in responding and committing to intervention measures. An important feature of readiness-for-change was determined to be prosocial attitudes and related behavioral goals. In the next phase of this extended project, researchers will lengthen follow-up assessments to 24 months in addressing issues related to the prediction of a youth's intervention response based on cognitive and environmental variables. 3 tables and 2 figures