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Impact of Arbitration Intervention Services on Youth Recidivism: One-Year Follow-Up

NCJ Number
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation Volume: 43 Issue: 4 Dated: 2006 Pages: 95-131
Richard Dembo; Jennifer Wareham; Norman G. Poythress; Brittany Cook; James Schmeidler
Date Published
37 pages
This study examined the impact of intensive case-management services and youth psychopathic features on 12-month reoffending rates for youth who participated in a clinical trial in a juvenile diversion program in Hillsborough County, Tampa, FL.
The study found that youths who received the intensive case-management services did not have significantly lower rates of reoffending during the 1-year followup period compared with youth who received the standard diversion services without the intensive case management. Regardless of the level or type of services received, the youths' psychopathy measures were significantly and positively associated with reoffending rates during the 1-year followup. Youths with higher total scores for psychopathy were significantly more likely to reoffend than youth with low psychopathy total scores. In addition, youths with higher scores on the psychopathy subscales for callousness/unemotionality (affect) and impulsivity (behavior) were significantly more likely to reoffend than youth with low scores on these subscales. These findings are consistent with other studies of juvenile psychopathy. These findings suggest that it is essential that policymakers and practitioners develop effective early intervention programs for youth, particularly first-time offenders that address their mental health and personality disorders. This study examined baseline interview data and official arrest/charge records for 1 year following program or intervention completion, whichever came later. The study involved 164 juveniles who entered a diversion program (Juvenile Arbitration) between June 2002 and July 2003. Following completion of a baseline interview with each youth, youths and their families who agreed to participate in the study were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups: the control group (n=83), which received the standard features of the diversion program, or the experimental group (n=81), which received additional intensive case management for 16 weeks. 5 tables, 83 references, appendixes A-C, and A1