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Intensive Probation in Wayne County: An Alternative to State Commitment for Juvenile Delinquents

NCJ Number
W H Barton; J A Butts
Date Published
188 pages
According to this study, intensive probation has proven to be a valuable alternative to the juvenile court system in Wayne County (Michigan).
In order to reduce the volume of delinquent youths committed to the State, three in-home, intensive probation programs were designed to provide a cost-effective alternative to commitment. A randomized design was employed to assign equivalent groups of youths to each program and to a control group of State wards. While following these cases for two years, several interviews were conducted with youths, parents, and program staff, and information was collected from court and program records. Findings indicate that though intensive probation youths were more likely to reappear in court, the charges were less serious than those filed against the control group youths. Also, it was found that the programs were cost-effective and that commitments had been reduced. Recommendations include improving court processing and enhancing program effectiveness. 91 references, appendix.