Evaluating an Experimental Juvenile Probation Program: Comparing Official Outcomes and Self-Reports

Susan Turner, RAND
Jodi Lane, University of Florida
Terry Fain, RAND
Amber Schroeder, RAND

ABSTRACT
From 1997-2001, Ventura County, California implemented an innovative collaborative approach to juvenile justice in South Oxnard using Corrections of Place Theory as a framework for their services. The South Oxnard Challenge Project (SOCP) included not only the traditional probation functions of surveillance and crime prevention but also focused on building offenders' life skills. Youth were randomly assigned to SOCP or to a control group on routine probation. As part of the program evaluation, RAND analyzed official records and interviewed youth in both groups about their experiences under supervision. In this presentation, we compare findings from these sources with regard to delinquency and drug use as well services received during the intervention period. We generally find youth report more alcohol and drug use and more delinquent behavior during the intervention period than their records indicate.

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Updated 05/20/2006