Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: Reading for Life and Adolescent Re-Arrest: Evaluating a Unique Juvenile Diversion Program

Friday, November 13, 2015 : 10:55 AM
Zamora (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Alesha Seroczynski, Holy Cross College
We present results of an evaluation of Reading for Life (RFL), a diversion program for non-violent, first-time juvenile offenders in a medium-sized Midwestern county.  The unique program uses virtue theory, works of literature, and small mentoring groups in an attempt to foster moral development in juvenile offenders. Participants were randomly assigned to RFL treatment or a comparison program of community service. The RFL program generated large and statistically significant drops in future arrests. The program was particularly successful at reducing the chance of future serious offenses and reducing recidivism for those groups with the highest propensity for future offenses.