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Predicting Recidivism of Juvenile Delinquents on Restitutionary Probation From Selected Background, Subject and Program Variables

NCJ Number
L J Guedalia
Date Published
113 pages
This study was conducted to identify key personal, background, and program variables that would help predict which court-adjudicated juvenile delinquents would be successful in a restitution program in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The subjects for the study were 200 males randomly selected from among 400 placed on restitutionary probation between January 1975 and January 1978. Information on background variables, such as family structure and socioeconomic status; subject variables such as age, race, school status, nature of offense, and individual rather than group delinquency; and program variables such as victim contact, amount of monetary restitution, and service restitution were gathered from official delinquency records from Tulsa's juvenile court. Data on violent and nonviolent recidivism were also gathered. Cross-tabular analyses and chi-square statistics were used to determine if these characteristics impacted on success in the program. The results of cross-tabular analyses showed that offenders who were either living with both natural parents, were not failing in school, made contact with their victim, or paid $100 or less in monetary restitution had significantly lower recidivism rates than other delinquents. The results of an exploratory, multiple cross-tabular analysis of family structure, school failure, and victim contact variables and recidivism proved to be significant. These findings indicate that those managing restitution programs for juvenile offenders should work more closely with the school systems and families of offenders, and that victim-offender contact should be encouraged. Data tables, a reading list, references, and appendixes are included. (Author abstract modified)