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Implementation and Outcome Evaluation of the Intensive Aftercare Program, Final Report

NCJ Number
Richard G. Wiebush; Dennis Wagner Ph.D.; Betsie McNulty Ph.D.; Yanqing Wang; Thao N. Le Ph.D.
Date Published
March 2005
110 pages
This report presents the findings from a federally sponsored 5-year, multisite evaluation of the implementation and outcomes of the Intensive Aftercare Program (IAP) completed by the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD).
The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP's) Intensive Aftercare Program (IAP) is widely recognized as one of the most promising recent innovations in juvenile justice. IAP was a major initiative in aftercare programming during the 1990s and has received considerable national attention. It addresses how to effectively intervene with high-risk, incarcerated juvenile offenders who have demonstrated high recidivism rates and continue to offend as adults. The IAP goal is to reduce recidivism among high-risk parolees. With the growing interest in the implementation of aftercare programs and the growing emphasis on the importance of careful evaluation of such programs, OJJDP initiated an evaluation of the IAP in three jurisdictions: Denver, CO, Clark County (Las Vegas), NV, and Norfolk, VA. The National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) conducted the process and outcome evaluations using an experimental design that involved random assignment of eligible youth to either the experimental (IAP) or control (traditional services) group. The study sought to answer the questions of to what extent was the model implemented as designed and what impact did the program have on the subsequent behavior of participants. All three sites successfully implemented most of the major IAP case management components. However, the evaluation does not allow for broad-brush characterizations regarding IAP’s effectiveness. There is no evidence that the project had its intended impact of reducing recidivism among high-risk juvenile parolees. However, the evaluation results should not be used to dismiss the IAP model as ineffective. In short, the needs for highly focused, ongoing development and demonstration efforts that can take into account the implementation and evaluation obstacles identified in these demonstration sites is suggested and further enhance the development of the model. Tables and references