Date of Award

Summer 2007

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Fox, Robert

Second Advisor

Campbell, Todd

Third Advisor

Thompson, Elayne


Diversion programs reduce the number of juveniles exposed to the juvenile justice system by diverting offenders away from the juvenile court and into alternate types of treatment. Power of Choice is a diversion program for first time adolescent offenders. This research evaluated the effectiveness of the Power of Choice Program and examined the relationships between recidivism within one year and the participants' demographic characteristics, change in knowledge, attitudes, attendance, and level of participation. Data was collected on 105 participants who were referred by parents, local law enforcement, Municipal Court, or the Department of Social Service agency and completed the Power of Choice program. Findings demonstrated that participants improved their knowledge based on an outcome instrument. Of the 105 participants, 65.7% did not recidivate, 19.0% recidivated within the first 6 months, and 15.2% recidivated between 6 months and 12 months after the program completion. According to a regression analysis, of the predictor variables (age, grade, gender, ethnicity, family structure, perceived attitude, perceived participation, and attendance), only the perceived attitude rating predicted recidivism. The results are discussed in the context of intervention and risk-reduction.



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