ensure that the juvenile justice system is not creating or exacerbating problems it is designed to alleviate.

After Care and Reintegration

Following incarceration, most juvenile offenders will return to the communities from which they came. As with the adult system, juvenile corrections officials have a poor record of controlling juvenile parolees released from secure detention into the community. As in the adult system, concerns have been raised that heavy caseloads and poor quality and delivery of services affect offender rehabilitation and public safety. This situation has led to the testing of models of intensive parole supervision and after care (Altschuler and Armstrong, 1994a). Knowing how difficult it is for all individuals to make major changes in complex behavior patterns, it should not be surprising that juvenile offenders may need assistance if they are to avoid reoffending. Even for those who received appropriate treatment programs while incarcerated, change may be difficult to maintain when they return to their old environment. For juveniles to succeed in reintegrating into the community, more emphasis may have to be placed on continued treatment rather than merely on surveillance and monitoring.

Intensive after-care programs have evolved over the past 10 years out of the adult supervision probation movement and juvenile intensive supervision probation programs (Altschuler and Armstrong, 1994a). The intensive after-care model, as designed by Altschuler and Armstrong (1994b), represents a reintegrative alternative to confinement and release into the community under traditional parole supervision. From initial confinement to transition into the community, the goals of intensive after-care programs are to prepare the offender for prosocial adjustment to life in the community and in social networks (e.g., family, peers, school, and employment). The after-care component combines surveillance and control of offenders in the community with the provision of treatment and services based on the offender's needs and an assessment of factors that might increase his or her chances of reoffending. The combination of treatment and surveillance is critical to the intensive after-care model. Reviews of the research suggest that community corrections programs that emphasize surveillance and control only may not be enough (Byrne and Brewster, 1993; Petersilia, 1997; Petersilia and Turner, 1993). Community-based corrections programs that balance the provision of treatment and rehabilitation services (i.e., individual and family counseling, drug treatment, and vocational or employment training and assistance) with offender surveillance and monitoring (i.e., drug testing, curfew, and electronic monitoring) should be carefully evaluated to learn what mix is effective.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement