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Most Delinquents Sent to Community Supervision; Program Could Improve

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2002
24 pages
This report presents the findings of an evaluation and justification review of Florida's Probation and Community Corrections Program, which provides supervision to delinquent youth in the community.
The evaluation and justification review assessed agency performance measures and standards, along with program performance. Policy alternatives for improving services and reducing costs were also identified. Among the programs and operations provided under the Probation and Community Corrections Program are assessment centers, intake and case management, intensive supervision, diversion programs, early delinquency intervention, multi-systemic therapy, day treatment, conditional release, independent living, and nonresidential sex offender treatment. This report advises that the placement of the Probation and Community Corrections Program within the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice is consistent with its mission and is preferable to placement in the Department of Corrections or local government, because it enhances consistency and provides a continuum of sanctions for delinquent youth throughout the State. Suggestions for improvement include the use of a systematic, research-based approach to initiating and discontinuing programs; the development of a funding methodology for juvenile assessment centers; and the strengthening of contract monitoring. The report also advises that the program could save $275,310 and avoid $637,374 annually by using "consequence" beds instead of residential programs to sanction youth for violation of probation. Further, accountability for treatment services could be improved by accurately tracking the number of youth assessed for, referred for, and receiving mental health and substance abuse treatment. 12 exhibits, 2 tables, and appended statutory requirements for program evaluation and justification reviews and a method for calculating the costs of consequence units and commitment for non-law violations of probation