This article presents results from an evaluation of the Los Angeles County Repeat Offender prevention Program (ROPP) for juvenile offenders.
The ROPP was a 3-year pilot project (1999 through 2001) designed to improve school performance and prevent re-offending among enrolled juvenile offenders by offering an array of social services. An experimental design was employed to evaluate the effectiveness of the ROPP project. The treatment group consisted of 106 ROPP graduates while the control group contained 98 non-ROPP juvenile offenders who successfully completed probation. Comparisons were made of key demographic and risk factors, as well as services received, school attendance, school performance, probation violations, and re-offending behavior. Results of statistical analysis indicated that the ROPP project effectively and positively impacted school performance on several key measures. Re-offending during the first 6-month period after program enrollment was also lower for ROPP participants than control subjects, although no differences were discovered in rates of probation technical violations. The results suggest that intensive supervision coupled with coordinated social service delivery can improve school performance and reduce re-offending in the short-run but may not be an effective long-term solution since continued positive outcomes were not seen after the initial 6-month improvement. Future research should focus on the dosage and length of treatment services that would lengthen the duration of positive outcomes for participants. Tables, footnotes, appendix, references