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by Peter Moskos

March 23, 2009

The Failure of Juvie Homes

The story in the LA Times:
Most children who enter group probation homes in Los Angeles County remain in lives of crime and drugs years later, according to a new Rand Corp. study.
The think tank's researchers began tracking nearly 450 youths who entered group homes in 1999 and 2000. The final survey, taken in 2007, located 395 of the original participants and found that 66% said they had done something illegal, other than using alcohol or drugs, in the previous year.

Thirty-seven percent reported being arrested within the previous year, and 25% had been in jail or prison every day for the previous 90 days. Female participants were less likely than male respondents to report recent criminal behavior.
"This was perhaps the most startling finding. Twelve of the 395 respondents were dead when we went looking for them, most of them due to gunshot wounds," Ramchand said.
Robert Taylor, who heads Los Angeles County's probation department, said in a statement to The Times: "We know that some group homes do not provide the kinds of services this population needs, and that is why there are fewer group homes today than there were when this population was in group homes 10 years ago."

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