(Santa Ana) Supervisor Janet Nguyen and her colleagues recently received and filed the Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act (JJCPA) annual progress report compiled by the Probation Department for Fiscal Year 2008-09. The report showed great improvement in reducing the number of juvenile repeat offenders throughout the County.
“This report shows that programs offered through the Youth and Family Resource Centers, substance and alcohol abuse programs and the truancy response program are working to help reduce the number of repeat offenders,” said Supervisor Janet Nguyen, Vice Chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors.
In 2000, JJCPA was enacted to reduce juvenile crime and delinquency in the State of California. A progress report outlining program outcome and expenditure data must be submitted by local Juvenile Justice Coordinating Councils to the State Corrections Standards Authority (formerly known as the State Board of Corrections) by October 15th of each year. The information is incorporated into the annual report to the Legislature on the JJCPA Program.
Together, JJCPA programs provided services to 3,600 participants during the 2008-09 fiscal year. One-year outcomes from these program underscore the success of the JJCPA-funded programs, including the followings:
Participants at the West County Youth and Family Resource Center had lower new law violation (NLV) rates when compared with similar reference groups (1.25 avg NLV v. 1.97 avg NLV). Of the 98 juveniles in the program, 61% completed probation by the program exit point compared to the 38% of their reference group.
The Juvenile Drug Court demonstrated success at breaking the escalating patterns of drug and alcohol use among the at-risk population. Of the 71 juveniles in the program, the percent of participants receiving sanctions for substance use during their last three program months dropped by 63% compared with their first three months. One year after entry, the participants had a lower re-arrest rate for probation violations compared with their reference group (27% v. 100%).
Decentralized Intake provides immediate counseling and diversion services for youth in unincorporated areas and cities served by the Sheriff, and expedited handling of cases referred to Probation. Between 2008 and 2009, 1,607 juveniles were referred to PRYDE Diversion or Probation. One year after referral, 84% of participants had no new law violation arrests.
The Truancy Response Program aims to reduce truancies by targeting chronic truants who have not responded to traditional approaches. The program showed a 36% reduction in the average truancy rate of the 769 juveniles referred to Probation in the six months following referral compared with the six months prior to program placement (29% truant v. 45 %). Participants satisfactorily completing the program had a lower re-arrest rate six months after program exit than youth exiting the program unsatisfactorily (6% v. 20%).
The results in the Progress Report highlight the success of the JJCPA-funded programs: (1) Participants in 7 out of 10 programs had lower new law violation rates when compared with non-participants; (2) Improvements in school indicators were observed for participants in 7 out of 10 programs measuring educational outcomes; and (3) All 3 prevention and early intervention programs demonstrated significant success in diverting youth from the formal criminal justice system.
Supervisor Janet Nguyen represents the First District on the Orange County Board of Supervisors as Vice Chair. She also serves as Chair of the OCTA’s Transit Committee. She represents more than 600,000 people, covering the cities of Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Westminster and the unincorporated community of Midway City. Orange County ranks sixth in the nation as the most populous county and has the nation’s seventh highest annual budget.