An Assessment of Texas Juvenile Intensive Supervision Programs
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An Assessment of Texas Juvenile Intensive Supervision Programs This paper identifies effective practices for Juvenile Intensive Supervision Probation (ISP) programs and assesses the extent to which Texas ISP programs use those practices. Effective ISP practices is derived from a review of criminal justice and ISP literature. The effective ISP practices identified in the literature are organized into five categories: mission and goal statements, target population and selection criteria, treatment and control activities, program integrity, and community involvement. Sixty-two juvenile ISP programs are assessed for their use of effective categories. Survey research, and content analysis were used to collect evidence for the assessment. Multiple sources of evidence were used to increase data validity in each case. Out of 83 county ISP programs surveyed 62 responded (eleven were surveyed via the telephone). The assessment found that although the county organizations operating juvenile ISP's varied considerably in terms of size, complexity an available resources, they also have in common several program components and services. The findings showed that departments utilize more control measures (curfews, increased office visits) in implementing ISP programming than treatment oriented interventions (cognitive training, life skills). Over half of the respondent departments stated that a high-risk score is required to be ordered into ISP programming. Specialized staff training for ISP officers was reported by 85% of the responding counties. Finally programs have not implemented community involvement, as the model requires. Juvenile ISP programs must incorporate an evaluation mechanism into their respective ISP programs. ISP's must also venture out into the community and allow for input into ways the community can help effect the lives of juveniles. Further research needs to be done comparing control and treatment mechanisms between ISP and other high-risk probation programming.