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Issues in Juvenile Program Implementation: A Case Study

NCJ Number
American Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 33 Issue: 1 Dated: Spring 2008 Pages: 99-112
Lynn S. Urban
Date Published
14 pages
This case study highlights the issues and concerns faced by one jurisdiction in its attempt to implement a new curfew-check program.
The structure and aspirations of the program itself contributed to several of the implementation problems. The new intervention was a curfew-check program modeled after Boston's NightLight (Corbett et al. 1996). This program was chosen because of its apparent success in reducing juvenile crime and violence, as well as its use of the problemsolving strategy consistent with funding requirements under the Federal Juvenile Accountability Incentive Block Grants (JAIBG) program. The concept of court-ordered curfew was not new for the jurisdiction, but a mechanism for physically checking whether or not the juvenile was at home was not available until the implementation of the new program. The program not only required the implementation of new procedures, but also necessitated collaboration between agencies and the commitment of personnel. In the face of budget cuts and extreme personnel resistance on a number of levels, the curfew-check program survived because the two agencies involved in the program were committed to working with each other and following through on the practice of home visits; however, one key motivator for the personnel involved was the availability of grant funding to pay overtime for the employees. Agency managers met monthly to assess whether the program was operating as intended. Outside researchers were used to collect data on home visits and the recidivism of targeted juveniles. Constant monitoring and communication among the court, police, and researchers enabled the involved agencies to address problems and concerns. The commitment and persistence of upper level managers in the participating agencies was crucial in providing the motivation to address the various problems that arose. 2 tables and 27 references