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Program Profile: Skillman Intensive Aftercare Program (Pittsburgh and Detroit)

Evidence Rating: No Effects - More than one study No Effects - More than one study

Date: This profile was posted on September 05, 2017

Program Summary

This was an aftercare program in Pittsburgh (Penn.) and Detroit (Mich.) for juveniles transitioning out of a residential correctional program. The intent of the program was to decrease instances of reconviction and re-arrest among participating youths after their release into the community. The program is rated No Effects. There were no statistically significant effects on rates of reconviction and rearrest among program participants in either city.

Program Description

Program Goals/Components                                                                                             The Skillman Intensive Aftercare Program was targeted toward youths returning home following placement in residential correctional programs. The program was intended to reduce the rate of reconviction and re-arrest among participating youths. Participants were released from their residential placement 2 months early and received program services in the community for a total of 6 months. Additionally, one month before their planned release date, they were transferred to a transitional group home.

Components of the program included prerelease planning and contact with caseworkers, intensive supervision and counseling involving several contacts a day, individual and family counseling, service referrals for educational programs or jobs, and case management.
 
Target Population/Eligibility                                                                                               The program targeted male youths who were returning home after completing a residential correctional program placement in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Detroit, Michigan. The residential correctional program in Pittsburgh was through VisionQuest, a national youth services organization. The residential correctional program in Detroit was through the Michigan Department of Social Services. The youths were referred by correctional program staff. Eligibility was limited to youths who were returning to live with their families and initially included those from anywhere in the county. However, after program officials discovered how long it took to contact youths in outlying areas, the program limited eligibility to only those from Pittsburgh and Detroit. 
 

Evaluation Outcomes

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Study 1
Reconvictions                                                              
Greenwood, Deschenes, and Adams (1993a) found that the Skillman Intensive Aftercare Program in Pittsburgh did not have a statistically significant impact on rate of reconvictions, when compared with the control group condition. 
 
Rearrests                                                                                  
Similarly,  the program did not have a statically significant impact on rate of arrests, when compared with the control group condition.
 
Study 2
Reconvictions         
Greenwood, Deschenes, and Adams (1993b) found that the Skillman Intensive Aftercare Program in Detroit did not have a statistically significant impact on rate of reconvictions, when compared with the control group condition.  
 

Rearrests      
Similarly, the program did not have a statically significant impact on rate of arrests, when compared with the control group condition. 
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Evaluation Methodology

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Study 1                                                                                       
In a randomized controlled trial, Greenwood, Deschenes, and Adams (1993a) evaluated the impact of the Skillman Intensive Aftercare Program on postrelease recidivism outcomes in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Staff in the residential program identified eligible youths and provided their names to the researchers who then randomly assigned them to either the treatment group (n = 46) or control group (n = 40). Pittsburgh youths in the treatment group were released from their residential placements 2 months early and received the program for 6 months, while youths in the control group were not released early and continued their current residential program. Additionally, 1 month before their planned release date, youths were transferred to a transitional group home. Pittsburgh program staff were allowed to return youths to the group home or correctional facility as a sanction for problematic behavior.
 
The Pittsburgh treatment group was 86 percent African American, 13 percent white, and 2 percent other race/ethnicity. The average age at their placement was 16.5 years. The Pittsburgh control group was 78 percent African American, 18 percent white, and 5 percent other race/ethnicity. The average age at their placement was 16.5 years. The study provided demographic and criminal history characteristics for each group, but did not report whether any differences were statistically significant.
 
Follow-up information on arrests and convictions was obtained from juvenile and adult probation records in Pittsburgh. Bivariate analyses were conducted to measure both official recidivism (rate of re-arrest and reconviction) as well as self-reported delinquency 1 year after release.
 
Study 2        
In the same randomized controlled trial, Greenwood, Deschenes, and Adams (1993b) also evaluated the impact of the Skillman Intensive Aftercare Program on postrelease recidivism outcomes in Detroit, Michigan. As staff in the residential program identified eligible youth, they provided the names of these youths to the researchers, who randomly assigned each to either the treatment group (n = 50) or control group (n = 47). Youths assigned to the experimental program were supposed to be released from their residential placement 2 months early and to receive the intensive aftercare supervision for the next 6 months; however, the Detroit youths did not have any time cut from their residential term. The treatment group received the program for 6 months, while the control group received the regular form of postrelease supervision used in their community.
 
The Detroit treatment group was 90 percent African American, 8 percent white, and 2 percent other race/ethnicity. The average age at their placement was 16 years. The Detroit control group was 87 percent African American and 13 percent white. The average age at their placement was also 16 years. The study provided demographic and criminal history characteristics for each group, but did not report whether any differences were statistically significant.
 
Follow-up information on arrests and convictions was obtained from The Department of Social Services and Adult Recorders’ Court records in Wayne County (Michigan). Bivariate analyses were conducted to measure both official recidivism (rate of re-arrest and reconviction) as well as self-reported delinquency 1 year after release.
 
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Cost

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There is no cost information available for this program.
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Implementation Information

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The program was modeled after the “tracking” program operated by The Key Programs, Inc. Officials and staff from the Skillman Intensive Aftercare Program participated in a 3-day training session run by Key as part of the process for designing the program.

As intended, the treatment group had significantly more contacts with caseworkers than the control group. They also had more positive perceptions of program services than control group . Additionally, treatment group youths spent more time in the program than their control group counterparts (Greenwood, Deschenes, and Adams 1993).
 
There were some differences in program implementation between the Pittsburgh and Detroit sites. While treatment youths in Pittsburgh were released 2 months early according to the program design, treatment youths in Detroit were not. Pittsburgh treatment youths were also transferred to a transitional group home 1 month before their planned release date, and Pittsburgh program staff were allowed to return youths to the group home or correctional facility as a sanction for problematic behavior. Neither of these features were included in the Detroit program. Control group youths in Detroit participated in their program for 1 month longer than treatment youths, while the treatment youth in Pittsburgh spent more time in the program than their control group counterparts (Greenwood, Deschenes, and Adams 1993).
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Evidence-Base (Studies Reviewed)

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Study 1
Greenwood, Peter W., Elizabeth Piper Deschenes, and John Adams. 1993a. Chronic Juvenile Offenders Final Results from The Skillman Aftercare Experiment. Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND. 


Study 2
Greenwood, Peter W., Elizabeth Piper Deschenes, and John Adams. 1993b. Chronic Juvenile Offenders Final Results from The Skillman Aftercare Experiment. Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND.

https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monograph_reports/2006/MR220.pdf
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Related Practices

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Following are CrimeSolutions.gov-rated practices that are related to this program:

Juvenile Aftercare Programs
This practice consists of reintegrative programs and services designed to prepare juvenile offenders, who were placed out of their homes, for reentry into the community. The overall goal of aftercare programs is to reduce the recidivism rate of detained juvenile offenders. The practice is rated Promising. There was a significant decrease in the recidivism rates of juveniles who participated in the aftercare programs, compared with juveniles in the control group.

Evidence Ratings for Outcomes:
Promising - More than one Meta-Analysis Crime & Delinquency - Multiple crime/offense types
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Program Snapshot

Age: 16 - 18

Gender: Male

Race/Ethnicity: Black, White, Other

Geography: Urban

Setting (Delivery): Correctional, Other Community Setting

Program Type: Aftercare/Reentry, Group Therapy, Individual Therapy, Wraparound/Case Management

Targeted Population: Young Offenders, Prisoners

Current Program Status: Not Active

Listed by Other Directories: Model Programs Guide, National Reentry Resource Center