Recidivism in the Intensive Aftercare Program (IAP) Demonstration Sites

Richard Wiebush, National Council on Crime/Delinquency MD
Dennis Wagner, NCCD, Mid - West Office
Thao Le, National Council on Crime & Delinquency
Yanqing Yang, NCCD, Mid - West Office

Since 1995, the National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) has been conducting a multi-site process and outcome evaluation of the OJJDP-sponsored Intensive Aftercare Program. The IAP is based on a comprehensive, theory-driven model that focses on high-risk incarcerated juvenile offenders. It emphasizes the need for comprehensive, reintegration-oriented services during the period of institutional confinement; a highly structured and gradual transition process between the institutional and comunity settings; and the delivery of intensive supervision and services during the aftercare period. The primary goal of the project is to reduce recidivism among high risk parolees. Three sites (Colorado, Nedvada and Virginia) implemented the model beginning in mid-1995. In each site, NCCD randomly assigned committed youth who were assessed as high risk either to the experimental IAP intervention or to a control group that received traditional services. Across all sites, a total of 517 male juveniles were involved in the evaluation. An interim process evaluation found that each of the sites implemented the model in a way that was congruent with program design. Moreover, the IAP-involved youth received a level of service that, on several measures, was qualitatively and quantitatively different from that provided to the control groups. This paper will explore whether and to what extent the IAP had an impact on subsequent offending among program participants. The evaluation examined - by site - the officially-recorded recidivism events of the IAP and control youth during a standardized 12 month period following their institutional release. Recidivism was defined in multiple ways including subsequent arrests for delinquent/criminal charges, technical violations, new adjudications/convictions; and re-incarceration. The analyses examined prevalence, severity and rates of offending while controlling for time at risk. Additional analyses focused on recidivism among selected sub-groups of offenders to determine whether the IAP intervention may have had an impact for certain youth under certain circumstances.

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Updated 05/20/2006