Recent Juvenile Aftercare Initiatives

As discussed above, there has been increasing interest in initiatives that can provide:

  • Institutional services that subsequently lend themselves to application and reinforcement in the community.

  • Highly structured, smooth transitional experiences at the point of community reentry.

  • Intensive multimodal and multi-phased programming during a period of community-based aftercare.

Unfortunately, few evaluations have examined the design, implementation, and impact of these efforts. However, these evaluations are enormously valuable in identifying strengths and weaknesses of the programs and in pinpointing how future efforts can build on what has been learned. The programs are quite diverse, not only in design, but in the extent to which they have been successfully implemented and in the nature of their impacts. A critical examination of these evaluated programs must focus on at least three dimensions:

  • Are there an identifiable program model and a philosophy that specify how the program design and strategy are expected to induce change, and do the model and philosophy make sense?

  • Did the program actually implement its model and philosophy in accordance with the requirements?

  • What kind of impact did the program have?

The following sections examine five juvenile aftercare initiatives. Each program is briefly described and analyzed, and the basic findings and implications are highlighted in the context of the three key dimensions.

Reintegration, Supervised Release, and Intensive Aftercare Juvenile Justice Bulletin   ·  July 1999