2019 Issue



Lessons Learned from a Multidisciplinary Collaborative Supporting Juvenile Reentry

Dr. Erica D. Hooper-Arana, University of San Francisco
Pages 1-17

Multidisciplinary collaboration is paramount to engendering efficacious juvenile reentry. As the lives of juvenile offenders are infused with interwoven complexities and traumas leading to involvement with the juvenile justice system, a multifaceted approach permeated with varying perspectives is imperative. Effective juvenile reentry partnerships must embrace inclusivity and distinctly capitalize on the wide-ranging expertise encapsulated within a multidisciplinary team. Multidisciplinary collaboration is vital for juvenile offenders to return to the community from confinement with a comprehensive understanding of their situation as well as an assortment of approaches to mitigating their challenges both within and outside of the juvenile justice system. This manuscript will describe a unique approach and promising strategies designed to foster a smooth transition of urban juvenile offenders from confinement at a short-term detention facility back into the community. Lessons learned from a multidisciplinary collaboration between school districts, probation, health care, and city agencies designed to support juvenile reentry will be highlighted. Implications for replication among collaborative partners within the context of juvenile justice systems will be discussed.

Keywords: multidisciplinary collaboration, juvenile justice, juvenile offenders, juvenile reentry Download Article

Community-based Alternatives to Detention: Implementation Evidence on Evening Reporting Centers

Sonia Jain, Data in Action, LLC
Alison K. Cohen, University of San Francisco
Neola Crosby, Alameda County Probation Department
Jessica Gingold, University of Michigan Law School
Stacey Wooden, Alameda County Probation Department
Pages 18-31 

Evening reporting centers are an emerging best practice in community-based alternatives to detention. We ground our discussion of Alameda County (CA)’s evening reporting centers within an understanding of youth development theories, including the social cognitive career theory.  Alameda County is a diverse county in California’s San Francisco Bay Area that includes Oakland.  We used diverse sources of administrative data to describe the implementation of the evening reporting centers and report on outcomes of youth involved. We find that evening reporting centers are aligned with youth development theory. For example, they offer an opportunity for disadvantaged youth to build positive relationships with adults, which can contribute to positive youth development.  

Keywords: alternatives to detention, community-based, juvenile justice, social cognitive career theory Download Article

Beyond Skin Deep: Understanding Disproportionate Minority Contact through Ethnocultural Implicit Bias and the Decision-Making Process among Juvenile System Gatekeepers

Jonathan W. Glenn, PhD, Juvenile Justice Institute, North Carolina Central University
Pages 32-46

Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) has been studied as a social phenomenon for decades. Despite the quality research done on this construct, efforts to reduce disproportionality across the justice system have been marginally successful. Historically, DMC has been viewed from a perspective that attributes a macro level construct (systemic minority overrepresentation) to micro level processes (individual decision-making), with the most of the research focusing on whether DMC exists and the scope of the problem, rather than why it exists. The present article offers a theoretical explanation of DMC through an expanded lens of implicit bias. While implicit bias is usually discussed from a racial context, the discretionary decisions of justice system gatekeepers are subject to implicit biases transcendent of race. These biases, which may be grounded in ethnocultural differences, present the risk for inequitable criminal justice decision-making and may be driving the overrepresentation of minority youth in the justice system. The tenets of this perspective, as well as applications and recommendations are discussed. Download Article

The Competency Attainment Outcomes of 1,913 Juveniles Found Incompetent to Stand Trial

Janet I. Warren and Shelly L. Jackson, University of Virginia
Benjamin E. Skowysz, Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
Shelby E. Kiefner, James Reed, and April Celeste R. LevitonUniversity of Virginia
Maria Francesca Nacu, Higher Education Research Firm
Chantee G. Jiggetts and Gerald G. Walls, Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
Pages 47-74

Our study examines the outcomes of remediation services provided to 1,913 juveniles who have been determined to be incompetent to stand trial and ordered into remediation services by the court. These services were offered based upon statutory guidelines legislated in 1999, through a statewide, community-based program maintained by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (VA DBHDS). Recipients of these services were eight through 18-years-old and were predominantly African-American (73%), Caucasian (21%), and Hispanic (3%). Our outcome data indicate that 76% of the youth ordered into remediation services were determined by the court to have been remediated, 19% unlikely to attain competency, and 5% had their charges dismissed. Remediation services were offered within the community and received by the majority of the youth within three months at an estimated cost of $5,000 per juvenile. Rates of remediation differed based upon the age and mental status of the youth receiving services with 7% of youth aged eight to 10 years being remediated compared to 44% of those aged 14 to 16 years of age. Youth with a diagnosis of both intellectual disability and mental disorder were the least likely to be remediated with 51% determined to be unlikely to attain competency and an additional 28% having their charges dismissed. These outcomes are similar to those obtained with incompetent adult defendants, often through costly periods of inpatient hospitalization, raising the question of why states would not provide these due process protections to the most vulnerable youth within the juvenile system. Download Article

A Comprehensive Analysis of Determinants of Risk Assessment Among Youths Adjudicated to Indiana Juvenile Correctional Facilities

Taiping Ho, Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Ball State University
Jonathan Intravia, Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Ball State University
Pages 75-90

Risk factors (or criminogenic needs) have been broadly defined as individual traits or environmental conditions, if present, that increase the youth’s likelihood of engaging in delinquent or criminal behaviors.  This study was consisted of 2,335 youths who were adjudicated to Indiana juvenile correctional facilities during the period of January 1, 2012-February, 2015.  Indiana Department of Correction (IDOC) Division of Youth Services (DYS) has employed the Indiana Youth Assessment System (IYAS) to determine the youth’s risk level during the in-take process, which contains thirty-three (33) survey questions across seven (7) risk factor domains.  This study found that all seven (7) assessment domains were influential predictors to the overall risk assessment and the “substance abuse, mental health, and personality” risk domain exerted the most influential effect on the youth’s overall risk assessment.

Keywords: Risk Assessment, Risk Factor, Indiana Youth Assessment System Download Article

The Impact of an Alternative to Detention on Developmental Assets for Adolescent Involved in the Juvenile Justice or Legal System

Laura Maggiulli, PhD, LMSW, Hillside Family of Agencies
Jennifer Perry, BA, Hillside Family of Agencies
Joan Aiello, MS, Hillside Family of Agencies
Pages 91-103

Positive youth development (PYD) models can play a critical role in programming for at-risk youth involved with the Juvenile Justice System (JJS) or legal system. This article reports on the outcomes of a study that examined the impact of the Reinvesting in Youth (RIY) program on increasing developmental assets for youth who are at-risk for detention or higher level of care placements. RIY is a three to six month preventive and ATD program within a large non-profit behavioral healthcare organization that provides case management, community asset navigation, and academic support through an asset-building framework. Fifty-nine youth discharged from RIY were included in the study. The impact of the program was measured using the Developmental Assets Profile (DAP). Using a dependent samples t-test, results indicate that the RIY program has a significant and positive impact on increasing assets from admission to discharge on total asset scores, internal and external assets, and seven of the eight asset categories. Download Article

Making Time for Youth: Delay and Timely Case Processing in the Juvenile Court

William A. Chernoff, Ph.D., Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Southeastern Louisiana University
W. Richard Goe, Ph.D., Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work, Kansas State University
Pages 104-124

It is through timely case processing that the juvenile court is better primed to achieve its goals, whether these goals pertain to crime-control, treatment, legal or restorative justice, or some combination thereof. Drawing a random sample of cases (N=394) from a large Midwestern juvenile court filed between 2012 and 2016, the present study identifies factors that influence timeliness in the juvenile court. Controlling for diagnostic evaluations, failure to appear, offense severity, prior involvement, and judge idiosyncrasies, statistically significant relationships were observed between timely case processing and factors measuring caseload, judge placements, lawyer placements, pleading guilty, detention, and method of filing.

Keywords: timeliness; delay; timely case processing; case flow management Download Article

Do Diverted Kids Stay Out of Trouble?: A Longitudinal Analysis of Recidivism Outcomes in Diversion

James G. Barrett, Elizabeth Janopaul-Naylor, Jacquelyn Rose, Ana M. Progovac, Sherry Shu-Yeu Hou &
Benjamin Lê Cook, Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School
Pages 125-137

This study evaluates the effectiveness of a police diversion program between 2008 and 2016. Youth participating in the diversion program were compared to youth not participating in diversion on the probability of, and time to, second offense using unadjusted comparisons at 6, 12, 18, 24, and 36 months, unadjusted lifetable comparisons of time to second arrest, and Cox multivariate proportional hazards regression models. Diverted youth had significantly fewer second offenses. The rate of recidivism among diverted youth was lower than non-diversion youth at all time periods in unadjusted models, and statistically significant at 6 months, 12 months, and 18 months.

Keywords: police, recidivism, juvenile diversion, prevention Download Article

Judges’ Perceptions of Juvenile Sexual Offending: Implications for Educative Preparation, Practice and Policy

Kristan N. Russell, University of Nevada, Reno
Shawn C. Marsh, University of Nevada, Reno
Victoria Knoche, 
University of Nevada, Reno
Pages 138-160

Juveniles that commit sexual offenses tend to be a misunderstood population. Even professionals working in the juvenile justice system can hold misconceptions about these youth that interfere with implementing appropriate treatment and supervision services. Judges play a particularly powerful role in guiding the trajectory of intervention in these cases, but little is known about their understanding of this challenging population. To that end, the present study surveyed judges and a public reference sample to better understand current judicial perceptions of juvenile sexual offending. Results suggest that there are substantial misperceptions across participants surrounding juvenile sexual offending and offenders; however, judicial officers held more accurate information and less punitive orientations in comparison to the reference sample even when overestimating actual offending and recidivism rates. Details regarding these findings are presented along with subsequent recommendations for judicial education and preparation for working cases involving juveniles that have committed sexual offenses.

Keywords: juvenile sexual offending, judges, perceptions, education, policy Download Article

An Evaluation of “Transforming Youth Justice: A Leadership Development Program”

Kevin J. Earl, MS & David L. Myers, PhD
University of New Haven, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, Department of Criminal Justice
Pages 161-193

As part of the modern evidence-based movement in juvenile justice, effective leadership is necessary for planning, implementing, and evaluating policies, programs, and practices, along with guiding innovative reform efforts. Leadership development programs hold promise for advancing the field of juvenile justice, by enhancing participant leadership skills and abilities, as well as increasing opportunities for networking and further professional development. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate a juvenile justice leadership program in Connecticut. Overall, the findings from the mixed-methods research were supportive. Implications for similar programs and future research also are discussed. Download Article

An Investigation of the Impact of Functional Impairment and Risk Level on Adolescent Recidivism

Nancy G. Calleja, University of Detroit Mercy
Pages 194-207

One hundred and sixteen male adolescent offenders were followed two years post-release to investigate the role of functional impairment and risk level on recidivism.  Functional impairment had a significant impact on recidivism. Implications for future research are discussed.

Keywords: Juvenile justice, Functional impairment, Risk assessment, Recidivism Download Article

Challenges to Hispanic Youth with Both Delinquency and Maltreatment History

Elijah P. Ricks and Chelsea Geise, Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois
James M. Wood, The University of Texas at El Paso
Pages 208-233

Child victims of maltreatment (abuse or neglect) are at higher risk of delinquency.  When children experience both maltreatment and delinquency, they generally face more challenges and experience poorer outcomes across many factors.  Hispanics are the fastest-growing minority in the U.S. and have unique cultural and familial considerations.  This study sought to explore how adjudicated Hispanic youths with maltreatment history (also referred to as “dually identified youths”) compare to Hispanic youths involved only in the juvenile justice system across psychosocial risk factors and indicators of risk.  In El Paso County, Texas, on the U.S.-Mexico border, the researchers matched the records of 255 adjudicated Hispanic juvenile offenders with Child Protective Services’ (CPS) records to identify those with a substantiated maltreatment history.  The researchers found that 37 youth (14.5 percent) had been involved in at least one confirmed CPS case.  Dually identified juveniles were more likely to have a mental health diagnosis, a court-appointed attorney (used as a proxy for general socioeconomic status), and a close family member with substance abuse problems or criminal justice involvement.  On average, dually identified youths faced a larger number of these challenges combined than the youths involved only in delinquency.  These findings are discussed in light of prior research on dually identified populations, with implications for juvenile justice and child protective services policy, and research on Hispanic juveniles.

Keywords: Risk factors, mental health, juvenile delinquency, maltreatment, minority youth Download Article