Abstract

Juvenile delinquency among the nation's youth is an ongoing concern. An essential task of juvenile justice workers is to identify and measure risk factors that impact a youth's likelihood of recidivating. The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (FDJJ) utilizes the Positive Achievement Change Tool (PACT) to assess the risk for recidivism among all juveniles referred to the system. The current study examined how youths' level and types of risk, as well as the ability of the PACT to predict the odds of reoffending and the time to reoffend, vary across urban and rural communities. This study drew upon theories of social disorganization and collective efficacy (Raudenbush & Sampson, 1999; Shaw & McKay, 1942) and Andrews and Bonta's (2010) Risk-Need-Responsivity (RNR) model. Secondary data was used from 10,229 juvenile probationers in Florida to conduct bivariate analyses including chi-square tests of significance, independent samples t-tests, area under the curve estimations, multivariate logistic regression, and survival analyses. Results indicated that a greater proportion of urban youths than rural youths were rated at higher risk levels for recidivism. Of the eight types of risks examined, only past antisocial behavior, current antisocial peers, and current substance abuse varied significantly across community type. Also, a significant relationship was found between recidivism and community type. Finally, the PACT predicted both the odds of recidivism and time to recidivism more accurately for urban youths than for rural youths. The findings of this study may help guide juvenile justice practitioners in more accurately identifying risk factors and in determining whether one risk assessment instrument is sufficient for assessing juveniles from different types of communities.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2021

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Fisher, Kristina Childs

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

College

College of Community Innovation and Education

Department

School of Public Administration

Degree Program

Public Affairs; Criminal Justice

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0008546; DP0024222

URL

https://purls.library.ucf.edu/go/DP0024222

Language

English

Release Date

May 2021

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

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