In 1981, the San Diego Juvenile Court began placing chronic delinquents in a privately run, out-of-state program called VisionQuest. This report compares the recidivism rates for the first group of San Diego VisionQuest graduates with groups of similar San Diego delinquents who were placed in other correctional programs. It also examines a number of issues that have been major points of contention between the San Diego Probation Department and VisionQuest since the use of the program was first considered. The authors estimate that placement in VisionQuest reduced the probability that a youth would be rearrested within one year of release from 71 percent to 39 percent, making it more successful than the comparison groups. VisionQuest graduates also demonstrated a lower average annual post-release arrest rate.
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