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Self Reported Outcomes in a Randomized Trial of a Community-Based Multi-Agency Intensive Supervision Juvenile Probation Program

NCJ Number
Karen Hennigan Ph.D.; Cheryl L. Maxson Ph.D.; Sheldon Zhang Ph.D.
Date Published
May 2005
58 pages
This report presents findings from an evaluation of the impact of an experimental trial of a community-based intensive supervision program in Los Angeles County called the Youth and Family Accountability Model (YFAM).
The YFAM promotes cooperation between probation officers and community-based service organizations that involve the integration of probation services with a structured after-school program delivered at community reporting centers. The evaluation used self-reported outcomes to confirm and expand upon the findings from official records. A critical element of the evaluation design was the preservation of random equivalence of comparison groups that was established at intake. A subset of the juveniles who had been randomly assigned to the YFAM or control conditions was randomly selected for an interview; 745 youth (71 percent) were interviewed about 22 months after intake. Medium-risk and high-risk YFAM participants reported less offending than controls, with high-risk females and medium-risk and high-risk males who were YFAM participants reporting less offending overall, as well as less violent offending and less property offending. Low-risk YFAM males, especially younger males and those in the weaker programs, reported more delinquent activity in general and more property, drug-sales, and status offending than their controls. High-risk YFAM youth tended to associate with less criminally active friends than controls, and high-risk YFAM females had more positive family relations than controls. For low-risk YFAM youth, the program had the negative effects of contributing to more criminogenic perceptions and beliefs about the likelihood of punishment for offending as well as an acceptance of the normalcy of delinquent behaviors. 18 tables and 66 references