Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Special Needs Diversionary Program in Reducing Reoffending Among Mentally Ill Youthful Offenders
Seokjin Jeong, Byung Hyun Lee, Julie H. Martin
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
The goal of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a mental health intervention for youthful offenders, specifically the Special Needs Diversionary Program (SNDP) by comparing the treatment group with the control group. The sample consisted of 328 mentally ill youths: 168 youths participated in the SNDP and 160 youths in other court-ordered programs. To examine the empirical relationships among the covariates, the current study uses a two-step approach: (a) logistic regression; and (b) Cox Proportional-Hazards Regression. The findings reveal that participation in the SNDP was strongly associated with reduced recidivism compared with nonparticipation in the SNDP among mentally ill youthful offenders throughout the 12-month follow-up. Study limitations and implications for future research are discussed.