The impact of the juvenile intervention facility on the adjudication of delinquent youth in Broward County

Michele Verdi, Florida International University


Considerable funds have been allocated in the area of juvenile justice in attempts to reduce and prevent the problem of juvenile delinquency. Much of these funds have been funneled to various community-level intervention programs. This dissertation reports the results of a study that examined the effects of one such program, the Juvenile Intervention Facility (JIF) in Broward County, Florida, on reducing the number of cases handled judicially by the Juvenile Court in that county. Juvenile justice policy, which precipitated the creation of the JIF program, assumed that more structured and integrative efforts at the point of entry into the juvenile justice system would lead to greater diversion from the courts to much needed intervention services. By virtue of this process, the number of juveniles handled judicially by the courts was expected to decrease and future delinquent behavior would be prevented. Archival data from four fiscal years were examined, two years pre-JIF, two years post-JIF, a third-year follow-up, and a concurrent outcome measure corresponding to the first year of JIF operations. Data included all juvenile cases referred during the fiscal years defined for Broward and St. Lucie Counties, the state of Florida, and the United States. The study tested four hypotheses: (a) the JIF would reduce the number of cases handled judicially in Broward County Juvenile Court, (b) the decrease in judicially handled cases would be greater for females than for males, (c) there would be greater decreases in judicially handled cases for whites than non-whites, (d) there would be greater decreases in judicial handling for younger than older offenders. Bivariate analyses were conducted, consisting of chi square tests, to test the hypotheses. Results indicate that the impact of the JIF was in the opposite direction of what was expected in that more juvenile offenders were handled judicially through juvenile court. This fact points to the possibility that the JIF has failed to provide the intended consequences of the policy. In the discussion, these “unintended” consequences are addressed in the context of juvenile justice policy creation and the competing constituencies involved in such policy development.

Subject Area

Social work|Criminology|Welfare

Recommended Citation

Verdi, Michele, "The impact of the juvenile intervention facility on the adjudication of delinquent youth in Broward County" (2004). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3128616.