Truancy Intervention Programs: Challenges and Innovations To Implementation

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Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security


School truancy, particularly in primary and secondary schools, represents a serious issue deserving attention in communities across the nation. Most often treated as a management and disciplinary problem, serious attention to the underlying causes of truancy is usually given after the youths' absence from school becomes frequent or chronic. Truant youth are at considerable risk of continuing their troubled behavior in school, experiencing psychosocial difficulties, and entering the juvenile justice system. Unfortunately, with few exceptions, truancy has not received significant attention by criminologists. This article addresses three questions: (a) What kinds of truancy programs exist in the United States? (b) What evidence do we have regarding their effectiveness? (c) What system and programmatic issues present obstacles to implementing successful truancy programs and need to be considered in establishing effective programs? Finally, we discuss efforts that are underway in Hillsborough County, Florida, in implementing an effective continuum of service for truant youth and their families. © 2009 SAGE Publications.


Richard Dembo et al, Truancy Intervention Programs, Criminal Justice Policy Review (20, 4) pp. 437-456. Copyright © 2008. DOI: 10.1177/0887403408327923. Users who receive access to an article through a repository are reminded that the article is protected by copyright and reuse is restricted to non-commercial and no derivative uses. Users may also download and save a local copy of an article accessed in an institutional repository for the user's personal reference. For permission to reuse an article, please follow our Process for Requesting Permission.

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Criminal Justice Policy Review





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