Gentry_The_Truancy_Initiative by niusheng11


									 Combating Truancy

  Knox County Truancy
          and the
Knoxville Police Department
         Tammie D Gentry
          Safe Policy Board
 Create policy to help and protect children
 Develop intervention and prevention
  programs to reach out to children at early
 Create partnerships with government and
  local social service agencies
 Create Truancy Initiative and other
  programs for youth and families
Problems For Knoxville
 56,000 Students in Knox County School
 5,000 are truant everyday
 Daytime juvenile crime increases:
  vandalism, burglary, and auto theft
 Truants have a high rate of committing
  crime or becoming victim of crime
 Increase in juvenile gang and drug
   Truancy is any day missed from school
    without permission or documentation.

   Documentation is to verify that it was a
    legitimate absence. Without it, the day
    becomes an unexcused absence.

   Knox Co. allows 5 days for documents to
    be brought in.
    Truancy is a Gateway Crime
   Usually a predictor of more delinquent
    behavior (OJJDP, 2)

   Preventing truancy should be a two phase
    operation. On one hand, the initiative should
    protect children to prevent victimization. On
    the other hand, the initiative should prevent
    children from committing crimes when they
    should be in school.
              Criminal Evolution
2500           J. J. S.                       C. J. S.
                             $$$$     $$$$$
2000                        Violent
                       Serious              Youthful
1500                                       Offender
1000           High Risk                                  Criminal


         At Risk
       <10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
                           PREGNANCY DRUGS DRUG
                       PROMISCUITY    S.T.D. BABYS
       NEGLECT                                WT.

    F.I.         SERIOUS

Issues Correlating to Truancy
   Family Factors: These include lack of
    guidance or parental supervision, domestic
    violence, poverty, drug or alcohol abuse in
    the home, lack of awareness or attendance
    laws, and differing attitudes toward
         Correlations Cont’d
 School Factors:
 school size
 attitudes of teachers
 inflexibility in meeting the diverse cultural
  and learning styles of the students
 Inconsistent procedures in dealing with
  truants (OJJDP, 2)
           Correlations Cont’d
   Economic Influences: employed students,
    single-parent homes, high mobility rates, parents
    who hold multiple jobs, and a lack of affordable
    transportation and childcare.(OJJDP, 2)

   Student Variables: drug and alcohol abuse, lack
    of understanding of attendance laws, lack of
    social competence, mental health difficulties, and
    poor physical health. (OJJDP, 2)
         Economic Impact
 Less Educated Workforce
 Business Loss because of youths hanging
  out on store front or shoplifting
 Higher daytime crime
 Cost of social services for families
 Can cost community $2.2 million to care
  for one high school drop out who becomes
  involved in crime and drug abuse(OJJDP,
  3 and Morgan, iii)
Role Play
 School
 Juvenile Court
 Truancy Center
 School Court Liaison
 The District Attorney’s Office
 Knoxville Police Department
 Community Agencies
           The School’s Role
   Accurate Attendance Records

   Informing Truancy Center and Social
    Worker of chronic truants

   Exhausts all resources and documents such
         Juvenile Court’s Role
   Make referrals through court system

   Final destination of the truancy process
    when all community resources have been

   Judge court orders use of resources, place
    in detention, or place on probation or in
    state custody
          Truancy Center’s Role
   Prevention and intervention services
   Contact parent, school, social worker, probation
    officer or social service agency, when students
    brought in
   Monitor student’s attendance and do follow-up for
    next three months
   Do assessments and counseling of student and
    family to determine cause of truancy
   Make necessary referrals based on assessments
   Build a case by documentation and referral of
    services to help school personnel and District
    Attorney in case student goes to court
    School Court Liaison’s Role
   Pre-court hearings and referral of services

   Pull attendance records and verify data

   Presents the District Attorney with
    students to be considered for prosecution
    The District Attorney’s Role
   Prosecute families guilty of truancy

   Offer more services before punitive

   Conduct the Parental Responsibility
    Meeting and the Truancy Review Board.
     Law Enforcement’s Role
 Trained in truancy initiative
 Making it part of the standard operating
 Pick up students while on patrol or when
  dispatched to home when student is
  refusing to attend school and transport to
  truancy center
Parental Responsibility Meeting
 Conducted by District Attorney
 Invites families of 10 or more unexcused
 Partner social service agencies set up
  booths to offer services to families
 Parents given opportunities to speak with
  school social workers and ask for help or
  explain absences
      Truancy Review Board
 Conducted by District Attorney’s Office
 Members include law enforcement, social
  service agencies, and experts in medical
  and mental illness fields
 Meets with chronic truant families
 Search for scope of causes of truancy
 Offer services and counseling
 Last step before filing charges against
Community Agencies
 Provide assistance where court and law
  enforcement are limited
 Provide Mentoring
 Provide Counseling
 Provide Family Assistance
 Provide Financial Assistance
 Play role in court proceedings
Agency Partnerships
 DCS- Department of Children Services
 DA- District Attorney
 Juvenile Court
 Boys and Girls Club of East Tennessee
 Knox County School System
 KCDC-Local Housing Projects
 Compassion Coalition
 Child and Family Tennessee
Building Necessary Partnerships
   It is absolutely necessary that partnerships are formed
    to make the truancy initiative successful.
   Possible Partners
      Department of Children’s Services
      Juvenile Court
      School System (Knox Co. Schools)
     District Attorney Office
      Boys and Girls Club
      Law Enforcement (Knox. Police Dept.)
      Local Housing Project Association (KCDC)
      Local Youth Organizations
      Local Social Service Agencies
What Partnerships Provide
 Provide a steady contact for referral and
 Provides ongoing information regarding
  the student
 Provides quick access to those working
  with student (i.e. probation officers, case
 All partners meet and staff on students
  monthly to assess the student further
 Makes everyone aware of the situation
Results of Initiative
 30% decrease in daytime juvenile crime
 Attendance rate for Knoxville is at 96%
  :above the state average of 93%
 Helping schools not fail under No Child
  Left Behind Law for attendance reasons
 Locates families who are in need of
  services that otherwise may not get help
 Locates neglected children
 Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency
     Prevention. Juvenile Justice Bulletin,
     September 2001.
 Morgan, John G., Comptroller of the
     Treasury. Office of Educational
     Accountability for the State of
     Tennessee, January 2004.

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