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Johnson published in Journal of Juvenile Justice

Thursday, 17 May 2012

University of Maine at Presque Isle Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Charles Johnson was just published in the Journal of Juvenile Justice – a peer-reviewed publication.

The article Transition of Truants: Community Truancy Board as a Turning Point in the Lives of Adolescents, which Johnson co-authored with Kevin A. Wright of Arizona State University and Paul S. Strand of Washington State University Tri-Cities, was published in the Spring 2012 issue of the journal. Johnson served as the lead author on the article.

The Journal of Juvenile Justice is a semi-annual, peer-reviewed journal sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention [OJJDP], according to the journal's website. Articles address the full range of issues in juvenile justice, such as juvenile victimization, delinquency prevention, intervention, and treatment.

"It is indeed a tremendous professional honor to have this important work recognized by my academic peers and published in such a prestigious venue as the Journal of Juvenile Justice," Dr. Johnson said. "This recognition is exactly the sort of thing that elevates the Criminal Justice program at the University of Maine at Presque Isle to higher national standings."

The article Johnson co-authored discusses "interventions that can successfully reintegrate students back into a school setting in a manner that encourages continued attendance and involvement." The authors pointed out that in 2004, nearly 56,000 truancy petitions were filed in state courts – 69 percent more than a decade earlier; but that these statistics likely underestimate the true extent of truancy-related problems in the U.S.

The article analyzes the overall effectiveness of truancy boards "based on both quantitative analyses of outcomes and qualitative interviews with key actors," and discusses "the implications for ongoing theoretical, empirical, and policy debates surrounding truancy intervention."

The article provides the West Valley Community Truancy Board in Spokane, Washington, as a prime example of such intervention programs, and evaluates the overall effectiveness of its efforts. According to the article, this program employs a court-appointed officer to mentor students and manage the overall process of identifying and attending to the risks and needs that promote truancy. Along the way, school administrators, court officials, community members, the students and family members are involved to provide a multifaceted approach to truancy intervention.

According to the authors, the broader purpose of their research is to provide a theoretically-informed evaluation of an innovative approach to the reduction of school truancy.

For more information or to view the article, visit www.journalofjuvjustice.org.