This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Effectiveness of Services Offered by an Intervention Program for Youth Status Offenders




Hamm, Emily

Type of Degree



Human Development and Family Studies


Juvenile crime is a significant issue facing Americans today, but how to properly intervene is an issue still in great need of consideration. Youth status offenders are a group in need of both protection and assistance. Status offenses are defined as offenses that are only illegal because the youth is not yet an adult, and include truancy, running away from home, and ungovernable behavior. Programs designed to deter status offenders from becoming index offenders are rare, and the programs that do exist often go unevaluated. Results of the effectiveness of mental health services provided by an intervention program for youth status offenders are presented. This study included 233 youth status offenders participating in the CHINS intervention program between 2000 and 2003. Permission was obtained to gather anonymous data from family court files and from East Alabama Mental Health. The mental health services provided to CHINS participants; family therapy, individual therapy, group therapy, case management, family support and education, and emergency services were the independent variables. Outcome variables were number of days in the CHINS program and number of court appearances while in the program and up to six months after exiting the program. It was found that the total number of services provided within the first month after entry into the program was correlated with fewer number of days in the program.