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Junior Attendance Centers

NCJ Number
A B Dunlop
Date Published
52 pages
Researchers discovered that England's junior attendance centers (JAC's) were efficiently and effectively achieving the short-term objective of the courts when they made an attendance center order (ACO) for boys to complete the prescribed hours.
Attendance centers are designed to deal with young offenders by the deprivation of leisure time and by the requirement of regular attendance for a specified time. The study surveyed all the JAC's operating in 1976 and analyzed information relating to absences from the center. An analysis was conducted of a sample of 40 boys from 14 JAC's and their patterns of attendance and offending. The survey confirmed that absence constituted a considerable problem for the staff at some centers and that older age groups were the main source of this problem. None of the centers had major differences and only minor variations occurred in management styles. In their programs ACO's were used for a wide range of offenders, with older and younger boys appearing more frequently and boys with a considerable record of previous offending appearing less frequently. Absentees were found to be unevenly distributed between the 14 sample centers. JAC's with a low level of absenteeism had a style of management which was consistent and firm both in attitudes and practice. Despite a small number of boys who were more prone to absenteeism, most boys completed the number of hours ordered by the court without much absenteeism. In terms of the explicit short-term aim of the court when making an ACO--the boy's attendance for a specified number of hours as and when ordered--JAC's appear to have considerable success. Even though over a quarter of the sample committed offenses during their ACO's, in most cases they went on to complete the order. Most offenses occurred among boys with previous convictions and in the early stages of the order. The ACO could be said to have been deficient in efficiency and short-term effectiveness in the case of those in the sample (37 percent) who did not complete their orders satisfactorily either because of absenteeism or because they committed offenses during the ACO or both. Eleven references, the survey, and a list of publications are provided.