Research has repeatedly shown that quality education is one of the most effective forms of crime prevention, with an inverse correlation between education level and recidivism rates. Acknowledging this relationship, in 2001 the San Diego County Probation Department began to provide more resources to a previously proven program. Since then, probation officers have been providing intensive probation supervision throughout the entire San Diego region as part of the Truancy Supervision Program (TSP) by making referrals for truancy prevention and academic enhancement services and assisting in monitoring the juvenile’s attendance through direct contact with the truant juvenile and his/her family. As one part of an evaluation of several state-mandated programs funded due to the enactment of the Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act (JJCPA), SANDAG has tracked outcome statistics for TSP clients. The most recent results show that, after participating in the TSP program for an average of eight months clients were more likely to have positive interactions with teachers, be engaged in school, demonstrate problem-solving skills, and to have educational aspirations.
In addition, TSP clients were less likely to be arrested or have a sustained petition during program participation (compared to a baseline group), and more likely to have a higher average grade point average (GPA) and attend school more regularly compared to before program participation. For more information about TSP and other JJCPA programs, please visit our SANDAG’s Criminal Justice Division Web site at www.sandag.org/cj.