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Eval. of the Impact of a Policy Change in a Diversion Prg. on Yth. Recidivism: A Natural Experiment

Award Information

Award #
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2001, $68,032)


Until July 2000, three diversion programs spun off the operation of the Hillsborough County, Juvenile Assessment Center in Tampa, Florida: (1) an arbitration program, (2) a 90 day counseling program called the Juvenile Alternative Services Program (JASP) and (3) a Juvenile Drug Court. In July 2000, funding cuts by the Florida legislature eliminated the JASP program. As a result, effective September 2000, youths formerly eligible for JASP will receive one of three other types of services: (1) the Walker Plan (a judicial review, development sanctions, and monitoring by a Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Juvenile Probation Officer), (2) an Intensive Delinquency Diversion Services program serving youth referred to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice assessed as being at high risk of becoming serious or chronic offenders, and (3) assignment to one of a number of community-based service (CBS) programs. This change provided an unusual, important circumstance for a natural experiment permitting evaluation of the impact of these service changes on the youths' outcomes. A particular interest will be to determine whether youths receiving the Walker Plan of IDDS will have higher recidivism rates than former JASP serviced youths or youths being placed in community service programs. The applicant proposes to: (1) evaluate the JASP, Walker Plan, IDDS and CBS programs in regard to: (a) client contact with the program, program retention and completion; and (b) youth recidivism; and (2) complete a partial analysis of the cost impacts of the JASP, Walker Plan, IDDS, and CBS programs on juvenile justice system agencies relating to youth recidivism.

Date Created: September 19, 2001