Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained: The Impact of the Court Supervised Probation Program on Select Juvenile Offenders in Duval County

Jeffry A. Will, University of North Florida
Vicki Waytowich, Daniel Memorial
Charles E. Owens, NE FL Ctr for Community Initiatives
Steve Johnroe, Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida
The Honorable Jack M. Schemer, Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida

Juvenile Court Judges frequently express dismay over the limited recourse available for addressing concerns of juvenile offenders appearing in court. In this paper, we examine the Court Supervised Probation Program (CSP) established by Judge Jack Schemer in response to his experiences as Juvenile Court Judge in Duval County Florida. Modeled loosely on Drug Courts, the program targests foster children and children from single parent homes who are "front end" offenders, and links the juveniles with two (2) local intervention programs. Meetings between the Judge and the juveniles occur in the courtroom. However the atmosphere is more interactive than normally encountered in court, with the juvenile and the Judge discussing family dynamics, school activities, and a wide range of informal topics, as well as the child's progress in his probation plan. In this paper we review how ujuveniles in the program fare by examining school records as well as recidivism rates. Comparisons are also made with non-CSP juveniles in similar intervention programs.

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Updated 05/20/2006