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Ever Widening Net: System Adaptations to the Introduction of New Programs in a Juvenile Court

NCJ Number
W H Barton; J A Butts
Date Published
23 pages
Despite the cost-effectiveness of several community-based alternatives to juvenile commitment introduced in a large urban area, State commitments did not decrease to the maximum extent because of adaptations in other areas of the system.
The potential savings from the in-home programs were eroded when they were used, not as true alternatives to commitment, but as a way to "widen the net" of intervention. The authors suggest several factors contributed to the dilution of the intensive probation programs, including an increased propensity to commit cases, longer periods spent in the in-home programs, and more discretion in screening committed cases for diversion to the alternative programs. 1 figure, 5 tables, 13 references. (Author abstract modified)