2 Statement of the Problem Recidivism rates among juvenile probationers in Yakima County, Washington, are too high. Probation officers supervise high volumes of cases, and face bewildering client-failure rates. Thus, this study seeks to analyze why some adolescents continue to commit crimes while others, even those who have had prior criminal incidents, ultimately stop offending.Juvenile delinquent: A youth whose behavior violates the law and who may be persistently mischievous, antisocial, disobedient, who intractability thwarts corrective actions by his or her parents, or who has been constituted as a matter for action by the juvenile courts.Recidivism: The repetition of criminal behavior or when an offender reverts to a prior state of criminal behavior.
3 In the U.S. today the dilemma of juvenile crime and delinquency is on a steady increase. Society is frustrated, concerned, and alarmed more than ever before. Over the past 15 years, the nation’s juvenile justice centers in America have seen an overwhelming increase in juvenile violence.
4 Juvenile delinquency continues to be viewed as a major social problem, especially in recent years, as more and more young people join gangs and engage in violence. Juvenile offenders who continue to re-offend while on community supervision need rehabilitative programs aimed at reducing such behavior. Despite the fact that some programs are successful, research indicates that they are costly and not always successful.Comparing delinquent youth to the larger American juvenile population and found they were more prone to drug and alcohol abuse, sexual activity, truancy, and emotional problems at school and at home.
5 As the trend toward confining greater numbers of juveniles in corrections facilities continues, increasing attention is being paid to what happens once they are released back into the community.
6 Female Juvenile Offenders A drastic 24% of females who were detained were charged with probation and parole violations as compared with 12% of male juveniles.One study identified five major risk factors associated with female juvenile delinquency:(a) abuse and exploitation,(b) alcohol and substance abuse,(c) teen pregnancy and parenthood,(d) low or damaged self-esteem, and(e) truancy and school drop out.Another study found that 80% of females in detention needed a mental health and drug evaluation. The females in this study were 33% more likely to be diagnosed with depression and anxiety.
7 According to the Juvenile Justice Report for Washington State (2001), “Girls accounted for approximately 27 percent of all 1999 juvenile arrests. No change from 1998, and a slight increase from 1997, when girls accounted for 26 percent of all arrests”. This study suggested that boys committed 73% of adjudicated offenses in the State of Washington.Poe-Yamagata and Butts (1996) also reported that a drastic 24% of females who were detained were charged with probation and parole violations as compared with 12% of male juveniles.Sondheimer (2001) reported that the disparity between males and females is decreasing and becoming more similar in profile. In fact, Esbensen and Winfree (1998) found that in some areas girls ages make up 46% of gangs.
8 Defining at-risk or risk factors is difficult because these terms take on many meanings. The term “at-risk” was created by the medical field and since has taken on many meanings by the educational field; however, since the term has been used so widely, essentially it has lost its meaning. For example, at-risk of drug abuse, at-risk of dropping out of school and at-risk of failing in life are all too common in today’s educational jargon. The fact is that everyone is at-risk no matter what life’s circumstances may bring.Prior studies have focused on recidivism traits among adult and juvenile criminal offenders; however, many of these studies have only explored variables which omit gender differences among offenders, excluding female, juveniles.
9 Male Juvenile Offenders Eighty-one percent of all referrals to the juvenile court were male. In a health profile of male incarcerated youth, findings suggested that males who were incarcerated were older, in poor health, on welfare and came from single parent families. In one study, Corbitt (2000) declared male juvenile offenders were more likely to come from poor, low-income families. In addition, this study found that males of juvenile offenders were also more likely to have parents of family members who had criminal histories. What researchers have attempted to understand is why males choose a path of delinquency and deviance more often than females?Society and culture glorify boys who learn to become aggressive and, in fact, view aggression in boys as acceptable. Girls, on the other hand, have been taught to be passive and non-aggressive.
10 Known Recidivism Factors After review of the literature, it was determined that the following are known recidivism factors that may influence re-offending:Age at first offenseGenderPrior criminal historySchoolNegative peer associationGang InvolvementSubstance abuseRaceMental healthSocial Economic Status
11 Washington Association of Juvenile Court Administrators-Risk Assessment 1. Criminal History2. School3. Use of Free Time4. Employment5. Relationships6. A Family in Which Raised6. B Current Family7. Drugs and Alcohol8. Mental Health9. Attitudes/ Behaviors10. SkillsRisk assessment tools are one way for the juvenile justice system to fight recidivism, and, indeed, risk assessment tools are showing signs of success in the fight to stop crime and delinquency.
12 Known Resiliency Factors MentorStrong marital relationshipsCommunicationPositive peer relationshipsAutonomySocial competenceCommunity recreational activitiesHumorHigh expectationsFamily racePride in cultureEducational opportunities and school performance
13 The primary goal of this study is to investigate selected recidivism factors among a sample of male and femalejuvenile probationers and thereby determine whichfactors are most closely associated with re-offending.SampleDemographic, juvenile probation services and recidivism data from 100 juvenile offenders of both sexes (ages 12-17) was drawn at random from the Juvenile Justice Center, operated by the Yakima County during the fiscal year Since all detention, arrest, and re-adjudication records were obtained from the YCJJC, this researcher could readily identify which of the 100 research subjects had recidivated and which had not.
14 Recidivism Status Male Female Did not recidivate while on community supervision.755025100Male27Female23Recidivated while on community supervision.
15 Juvenile Offenders under the age of 14 and over the age of 14 Cross Tabulation ofJuvenile Offenders under the age of 14and over the age of 14who had Recidivated while on Community Supervision.50MaleFemaleDid not recidivate40302523201044201815Age 14 and underOver the age of 14
16 Probation Services Offered to Juvenile Offenders Cross Tabulation ofProbation Services Offered to Juvenile Offenderswho had Recidivated while on Community Supervision.50MaleFemaleDid not recidivate40302222201055181855Did not receive Probation/Rehabilitationservices while on community supervisionReceived Probation/Rehabilitationservices while on community supervision
17 with and without an Intact Family-Support Status Cross Tabulation of Juvenile Offenderswith and without an Intact Family-Support Statuswho had Recidivated while on Community Supervision.10403020501MaleFemale1722111216Did not recidivateWith intact family-support status.615Without intact family-support status.
18 Non-Caucasian Juveniles Cross Tabulation ofRace/Ethnicity of Juvenile Offenderswho had Recidivated while on Community Supervision.10403020508MaleFemale1214111817Did not recidivateCaucasian Juveniles9Non-Caucasian Juveniles
19 Ethnicity Males Caucasian 40% Hispanic 48% Native American 8% Asian 2% African American 2%FemalesCaucasian 48%Hispanic 44%Native American 6%Asian 0%Ethnicity
20 Recidivated while on community supervision. Recidivism StatusRecidivated while on community supervision.WAJCA-RA19HIGH13MODERATE28LOWMaleFemale
21 Did not recidivate while on community supervision. Recidivism StatusDid not recidivate while on community supervision.WAJCA-RA9HIGH515MODERATE125LOW12MaleFemale
22 Conclusions...Although a review of the research literature suggests that juvenile males still recidivate at a somewhat higher rate than females, this study found that gender was not, in and of itself, significantly associated with juvenile criminal recidivism.In other words, females in this sample were just as likely to recidivate while on community supervision as males.
23 Conclusions, cont'dSecondly, this study found no significant relationship between recidivism and age. It was assumed that younger juvenile offenders would recidivate significantly more frequently than older juvenile offenders.Significant association between age ranges was not associated significantly with juvenile recidivism, although prior research suggests an association between recidivism and age, namely at first arrest.However, as mentioned above, this study found that a juvenile offender’s age was not related significantly to recidivism for either males or females.
24 Conclusions, cont'dThirdly, the study found no relationship, for either males or females, between the amount of rehabilitation/ probation services offered and subsequent criminal recidivism.This means that juvenile offenders who receive more services aren’t any less likely to recidivate. On the other hand, the study did find a significant relationship between family status and recidivism for both male and female juvenile offenders. Moreover, the association between family status and the tendency to recidivate was similar for both sexes; the findings in this study suggest male and female juvenile offenders from positive parental/ family support status recidivate significantly less than juveniles from non-positive parental/ support families.Strong parental communication/ support with children fosters a positive attitude, which, in turn, deters criminal behavior among adolescents.
25 Conclusions, cont'dIn addition, this study found no association between race/ ethnicity and recidivism although it was assumed that race/ ethnicity would be a factor for both male and female juvenile offenders.Finally, a strong association was found between scores from the WAJCA-RA recidivism prediction tool and the actual incidence of recidivism among the juvenile offenders in the sample. This suggests that the WAJCA-RA tool’s ability to predict recidivism among juvenile offenders was quite good. The juvenile offender cohorts who were assigned high, moderate, or low risk scores by the WAJCA-RA tool generally tended to recidivate at the frequency predicted by those scores.Research findings also suggest that the WAJCA-RA tool may even be a better predictor of female juvenile offender recidivism than was initially expected.
26 Working With Youth Offenders How to successfully work with a youth offenderEmployment issuesEducation issues
27 Why Discuss Youth Offenders? Many adult offenders start their criminal careers as juvenile offenders Many adult offenders start out with minor juvenile crimes such as MIP, theft, auto theft, and malicious mischief
28 HOW TO WORK WITH YOUTH OFFENDERS The stereotype of a youth offender -Spiked, colored hairVarious body piercingSpiked bracelets and collarsLoud and obnoxiousTattooed
29 The reality is that youth offenders are just like any other kid. You cannot tell by looking at a youth to see if they have a criminal history.
30 RespectThe number one thing when working with youth offenders is RESPECTAccept the youth as they are and don't judge themIf you show them respect, they are much more likely to be willing to work with you and be successful
31 Motivation Youth are motivated by a variety of things Attention - Positive versus NegativeMonetary benefits - incentives, salariesEmployment opportunitiesEducational benefitsThe chance to change their lives
32 Employment Issues Lack of work history Criminal record Lack of educationAge
33 Career PlanningAsk the youth "What do you want to be when you grow up?" and respect that choice.Keep options open for the youth. Be a guide not a barrier.ApprenticeshipsCollegeInternshipsJob Placement
34 Create Partnerships Partner with employers Work with colleges Enlist apprenticeship programs
35 Educational Barriers36% of youth offenders have learning disabilities nationwide At Echo Glen — 170 total populationMost learn better in a hands on environment and would benefit from vocational education80% test below grade level50% have been in Special Education prior to incarceration
36 Selective ServicesSelective Service - While incarcerated a man cannot register for the selective service. If they do not register prior to their 26th birthday, they are not allowed to register for the selective service. ( see handouts)Federal financial aid and federal programs require that male participants over the age of 18 are registered with the selective service.
37 Financial Aid Barriers Federal aid is suspended to all adult who have been convicted of sale or possession of illegal drugs. (See handout)Juvenile drug offenders are not affected by this restriction.Incarcerated individuals are eligible for federal financial aid if they are incarcerated in a county or city jail. (See handout)