The Source for Crime and Justice Data

Evaluation of the Los Angeles County Juvenile Drug Treatment Boot Camp, 1992-1998 (ICPSR 3157) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

This study was an evaluation of the Los Angeles County Drug Treatment Boot Camp (DTBC). This site was selected because it was one of the earliest boot camps in the nation designed specifically for juvenile offenders. The program enrolled only male offenders between the ages of 16 and 18, who were either documented or alleged drug users with sustained petitions by the juvenile courts for non-violent and non-sex offenses. The main goal of the study was to use a combination of official and self-report measures to assess the effectiveness of the DTBC as a correctional model for juvenile offenders with a focus on their substance-abusing behavior. The study consisted of three independent data collection components: (1) a comparison of official recidivism rates between matched boot camp graduates and non-boot camp graduates over a five-year observation period (Part 1, Official Records Data for Matched Samples), (2) a cross-sectional comparison of self-reports between boot camp and non-boot camp graduates over a 12-month observation period (Part 2, Twelve-Month Self-Report Data), and (3) a pre- and post-test of a boot camp cohort over a six-month observation period (Part 3, Pre- and Post-Test Self-Report Data). Part 1 variables include camp entry and exit dates, sustained petition for camp entry, prior arrests, age at first arrest, most serious charge at first arrest, number of post-camp arrests, most serious charge for post-camp arrests, and number of probation violations post-camp. For Parts 2 and 3, the study utilized the well-established International Self-Report Delinquency questionnaire to assess the youths' post-camp delinquent activities. The instrument contained measures on (1) the types of crimes committed during a specified time frame, (2) the frequency of these delinquent acts, (3) the onset of each admitted offense, (4) the circumstances of the incidents, and (5) a set of sociodemographic variables including attitudes toward school and work, living arrangement, and circle of friends. Demographic variables include age, ethnicity, and country of birth.

Access Notes

  • One or more files in this study are not available for download due to special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the data. A login is required to apply for access.

    Access to these data is restricted. Users interested in obtaining these data must complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

Dataset(s)

DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Official Records Data for Matched Samples
Download:
No downloadable data files available.
DS2:  Twelve-Month Self-Report Data
Download:
No downloadable data files available.
DS3:  Pre- and Post-Test Self-Report Data
Download:
No downloadable data files available.

Study Description

Citation

Zhang, Sheldon X. Evaluation of the Los Angeles County Juvenile Drug Treatment Boot Camp, 1992-1998. ICPSR03157-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2012-08-22. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR03157.v1

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)

Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (96-SC-VX-0003)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   aftercare, criminal justice programs, drug treatment, inmate attitudes, juvenile offenders, program evaluation, recidivism, shock incarceration programs, substance abuse treatment, treatment outcomes

Geographic Coverage:   United States, California

Time Period:  

  • 1992--1998

Date of Collection:  

  • 1996--1998

Unit of Observation:   Individuals.

Universe:   Male juveniles from the Los Angeles Drug Treatment Boot Camp from 1992 to 1998.

Data Types:   administrative records data, and survey data

Methodology

Study Purpose:   This study was an evaluation of the Los Angeles County Drug Treatment Boot Camp (DTBC). This site was selected because it was one of the earliest boot camps in the nation designed specifically for juvenile offenders, having been in operation since October 1990. It was also an integral part of the Los Angeles Probation Department, designed and operated for the long haul. Additionally, unlike the majority of boot camps in the existing literature, the Los Angeles DTBC had a well-developed aftercare component combined with intensive supervision, including drug education and individual and parental counseling. A major difference between the Los Angeles DTBC and most other boot camps in the literature was that the DTBC was created neither to alleviate institutional overcrowding, nor to attract state or federal program funding. The program enrolled only male offenders between the ages of 16 and 18, who were either documented or alleged drug users with sustained petitions by the juvenile courts for non-violent and non-sex offenses. All potential recruits were medically cleared for work and rigorous physical exercise. Cadets participated in a full academic high school program, a work program, and a 15-week drug education program provided by the Inter-Agency Drug Abuse Recovery Program (I-ADARP). After completing the six-month program, youth were released to intensive aftercare supervised by seven probation officers who worked exclusively on DTBC cases. The emphasis of the aftercare phase was on education, employment opportunities, and vocational guidance. The main goal of this study was to use a combination of official and self-report measures to assess the effectiveness of the DTBC as a correctional model for juvenile offenders with a focus on their substance abusing behavior. To this end there were four specific objectives: (1) to examine official recidivism over a much longer period of time than most published studies in order to increase the overall understanding of the long-term impact of juvenile boot camps on recidivism, (2) to examine the impact of the boot camp program on subsequent delinquency involvement, (3) to examine the effectiveness of boot camps in reducing participants' subsequent involvement in drug use and sale, and (4) to examine the level of participation of camp graduates in conventional activities and, in particular, the role of parental involvement in fostering successful return of participants to the community.

Study Design:   This study consisted of three independent data collection components: (1) a comparison of official recidivism rates between matched boot camp graduates and non-boot camp graduates over a five-year observation period, (2) a cross-sectional comparison of self-reports between boot camp and non-boot camp graduates over a 12-month observation period, and (3) a pre- and post-test of a boot camp cohort over a six-month observation period. For Part 1, the researchers used the case matching technique to locate a group of comparable subjects from four other juvenile camps who were matched against the sampled boot camp participants on major sociodemographic and criminal history characteristics. Access to both juvenile and adult official records was granted through the approval of a petition to the Los Angeles County Probation Department prior to the initiation of the project and of a motion to the Los Angeles County Juvenile Court. Complete records of arrests and dispositions were obtained for the matched samples and keyed into a data file for analysis. For Part 2, telephone interviews were conducted at the Social and Behavioral Research Institute (SBRI) at California State University-San Marcos, which was equipped with a state-of-the-art computer-aided telephone interviewing (CATI) laboratory capable of conducting large-scale survey research regionally and nationally. The software of the CATI system tracked the scheduled call-backs and monitored progress on completing sample-related quotas. Interview questions appeared on the computer screen and the interviewer entered the data directly into the database. To locate potential subjects, probation records containing subjects' home addresses and phone numbers were obtained for the pool of eligible subjects. Eliciting cooperation from these youths for interviews was aided by a nominal payment of $20 for each completed interview. Additionally, subjects were assured of confidentiality of their identity. Several techniques were used to achieve the proposed sample size of 100 completed interviews for each group, including directory assistance, cross-street verification, repeated calls to unanswered calls, and reviewing hardcopy probation files to search for additional contact information, such as addresses and phone numbers of subjects' relatives and employers. Part 3 was designed to interview a group of subjects as soon as they entered the boot camp to obtain self-report data for the six months prior to their current entry into the justice system. The same group of subjects would then be interviewed for a second time six months after leaving the camp. The goal was to gauge changes over time as a result of participation in the boot camp. The first wave of interviews was conducted over a three-month period and included a cohort of 137 fresh recruits, which was estimated to be sufficient for 100 completed interviews at the second wave. However, the sample attrition was far more severe than anticipated. Researchers employed a variety of methods to try to locate respondents after they left the camp. Because of the difficulty in locating the subjects, the elapsed time between the camp exit and the second interview was significantly lengthened from the originally planned six months to anywhere between 204 days and 517 days, with an average of 351 days. The study utilized the well-established International Self-Report Delinquency questionnaire to assess the youths' post-camp delinquent activities. The instrument contained measures on (1) the types of crimes committed during a specified time frame, (2) the frequency of these delinquent acts, (3) the onset of each admitted offense, (4) the circumstances of the incidents, and (5) a set of sociodemographic variables including attitudes toward school and work, living arrangements, and circle of friends.

Sample:   For Part 1, the sampling frame included youths who completed the boot camp between April 1992 and December 1993 to minimize possible treatment inconsistencies and programmatic/staff adjustment during the start-up phase. A complete roster of the boot camp gradates from this sampling period was obtained from the camp headquarters from which 427 graduates with no prior camp experience were randomly selected. Frequency tables were compiled for the DTBC graduates to provide sociodemographic descriptions, which then served as guides to stratify for selecting the comparison graduates. Subsequently, a complete roster of the four comparison camps was also obtained and used to select 427 youths who matched the predetermined descriptive variables. For Part 2, a complete list of all camp graduates who exited the boot camp program and the four comparison camps in 1996 was obtained from the Los Angeles County Probation Department camp headquarters. To ensure a sufficiently large pool of eligible candidates, the sampling time frame was extended to December of 1995 and the first three months of 1997. The original plan was to match the two samples on the same descriptive variables. However, the effort was aborted when the selective interview process turned out to be prohibitively expensive and impractical. For Part 3, the first wave of interviews was conducted over a three-month period and included a cohort of 137 fresh recruits, which was estimated to be sufficient for 100 completed interviews at the second wave. However, the sample attrition was far more severe than anticipated. Due to the difficulty of locating respondents after they left camp, the majority of the follow-up interviews took place approximately one year after their exit from camp and only 89 subjects were located and interviewed.

Data Source:

Part 1 data were gathered from the administrative records of the Lost Angeles Probation Department and the Los Angeles County Juvenile Court. Data for Parts 2 and 3 were collected through telephone interviews.

Description of Variables:   Demographic variables in Part 1 include date of birth and ethnicity. Other Part 1 variables are camp entry and exit dates, sustained petition for camp entry, prior arrests, age at first arrest, most serious charge at first arrest, number of post-camp arrests, most serious charge for post-camp arrests, and number of probation violations post-camp. Demographic variables in Parts 2 and 3 include age, ethnicity, country of birth, and language spoken at home. Parts 2 and 3 also contain variables related to the number of arrests and most serious charges, similar to Part 1. Other variables in Parts 2 and 3 include with whom the youth lived, adults' occupational code and job group, number of siblings, who took care of the youth, family criminal history, whether the youth attended school, the number of times the youth had been suspended or expelled from school, the youth's perceptions of his opportunities in life, the youth's evaluation of himself, whether the youth had a job and type of job, kinds of sports in which the youth participated, youth's assessment of his relationship with his caretaker, whether the youth ever ran away from home, whether and how often the youth participated in particular delinquent acts such as truancy or graffiti, the youth's alcohol and drug use and sales, weapon possession, and gang participation, parents' reaction to youth's arrest, age at which the youth first began dating, having sex, driving, working, drinking, and getting into trouble with the police, youth's relationships with camp staff, and the youth's assessment of his own neighborhood.

Response Rates:   Parts 1 and 2: Not applicable. Part 3: 65 percent.

Presence of Common Scales:   Several Likert-type scales were used.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2012-08-22 A Restricted Data Use Agreement form was added to the documentation files that can be downloaded from the study home page.
  • 2006-03-30 File UG3157.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2006-03-30 File QU3157.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2006-03-30 File CB3157.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.

Related Publications (see Notes)

Utilities

Metadata Exports

If you're looking for collection-level metadata rather than an individual metadata record, please visit our Metadata Records page.

Download Statistics