Research validates ONH as a model Life skills & Career Pathway Program
The Office of Juvenile Justice Department:
Rates ONH as a Promising Evidence Based. Participants were more successful at parole, less likely to be arrested or use drugs, displayed greater improvements in social behavior, and were more likely to be employed compared to the control group parolees.
Operation New Hope is a curriculum-based aftercare treatment program designed to assist chronic, high-risk juvenile offenders in their reintegration to the community after they are released from secure confinement. The program reinforces small successes while addressing the chronic offender’s fears of the real world. The program is designed to treat improperly socialized juvenile offenders by using a series of lifestyle and life skill treatment modalities in an integrated educational approach to healthy decision-making.
The program is grounded in the dynamics of William Glasser’s (1965) “reality therapy” approach. The approach used by the curriculum is based on six programmatic principles believed to help with reintegration:
- Improve the basic socialization skills necessary for successful reintegration into the community.
- Significantly reduce criminal activity in terms of amount and seriousness.
- Alleviate the need for or dependence on alcohol or illicit drugs.
- Improve overall lifestyle choices (social, education, job training, and employment).
- Reduce the individual’s need for gang participation and affiliation as a support mechanism.
- Reduce the high rate of short-term parole revocations.
These principles address the behavioral antecedents believed to be most responsible for failure to reintegrate. A juvenile’s inability to function and adapt to the norms of society is seen as a lifelong problem attributable to the early family socialization process and exacerbated by poor school performance, alcohol and/or illicit drug use, and strong attachments to negative peer groups (Josi and Sechrest 1999).
At the end of the evaluation period, Josi and Sechrest (1999) found that there were significantly more control group parolees who were unsuccessful in their parole attempt, compared with experimental group parolees who participated in Operation New Hope. Fifty-three percent of the control group (61 of the 115 parolees) was unsuccessful at parole, compared with 35 percent of the experimental group (37 of the 106 parolees).
The experimental group was also significantly less likely to have been arrested. At the end of the evaluation period, 32.1 percent of the experimental group parolees had been arrested one or more times, compared with 53.9 percent of the control group.
The experimental group was significantly less likely to use drugs or alcohol. At the end of the evaluation period, none of the parolees in the experimental group were classified as daily users, compared with 19.4 percent of the control group. Nineteen percent of the experimental group occasionally used drugs, compared with 32.0 percent of the control group. The majority of the experimental group parolees (81 percent) had no drug use during the evaluation period, compared with fewer than half (48.5 percent) of the control group.
At the end of the evaluation, experimental group parolees were significantly more likely to be employed (full or part time) and to be enrolled in school, compared with control group parolees. Among the 65 parolees in the experimental group who had been successful on parole at the end of the evaluation period, 46.2 percent were employed full or part time, and 6.6 percent were enrolled in school or vocational training. Among the 52 parolees in the control group who had been successful on parole at the end of the evaluation period, only 26.1 percent were employed full or part time, and 5.2 percent were enrolled in school or vocational training. Please note: The employment outcomes included only parolees who had been successful on parole at the end of the evaluation period; the outcomes did not include parolees who had been unsuccessful on parole.
The experimental group displayed significantly greater improvements in social behavior, compared with the control group, as measured through negative peer associations and family relationships. Sixty-seven percent of the experimental group reported having no contact with former gang associates, compared with 45.2 percent of the control group. Approximately 43 percent of the experimental group reported few, if any, associations with negative peers, compared with 26.1 percent of the control group. Finally, 67.0 percent of the experimental group reported stable relationships with family members, compared with 51.3 percent of the control group.
Dr. Josi, Don A. (Univ. Irvine), and Dr. Dale K. Sechrest (Cal State San Bernardino). 1999. “A Pragmatic Approach to Parole Aftercare: Evaluation of a Community Reintegration Program for High-Risk Youthful Offenders.” Justice Quarterly 16(1):51–80.
University Southern California Doctoral of Education Research:
To what extent has ONH achieved its program objectives in terms of student development? Academic performance and Students’ attitudes and behaviors to what extent has ONH program met the students’ needs? The research focused on Cognitive engagement, Emotional engagement, and Behavioral engagement.
ONH met its program objectives in terms of student development in the areas of academic performance as well as in attitudes and behaviors. Specifically, ONH staff takes a holistic approach, focusing on teaching students to “be able to take accountability and to help themselves versus leaning on their excuses and barriers as to why they can’t achieve success.
Findings indicate that ONH accomplished its program objectives in terms of students’ attitudes and behaviors. The student interviews validated that ONH school leaders have a positive impact on their attitudes and behaviors. Students stated that they dropped out of school and did not believe they
would graduate. However, attending ONH changed their lives and they are back on track to graduate. Ultimately, the students stated that attending ONH positively influenced them to think better and be better students. The findings also indicate that ONH meets students’ cognitive, emotional, and behavioral engagement need
ONH school leaders are mission-driven and focused on attaining measurable goals; specifically those of having their students graduate and earn high school diplomas. In addition, they are focused on transforming their students into hopeful and positive thinkers about their future.
A culture fostered around family-oriented; love, support, and family were three concepts ONH students and staff experience within the school campus. The coaches respect the students’ individuality and demonstrate care and respect when interacting with them. Ultimately, ONH is a second home for many of the students.
Welcoming Environment: ONH leadership created a safe and welcoming place for students and school personnel to assemble in. The various walls throughout the school are painted with inspirational messages. School administrators and teachers have an open-door policy, which adds to the inviting environment. Overall, the campus is well kept and in order.
Collaborative Culture: ONH coaches, school staff and students have a clear vision and purpose. The coaches meet periodically throughout the month to discuss the students’ needs and ways to meet their expectations. In general, collaboration among school members allows for shared thoughts, shared responsibilities, and shared decisions, which allow for greater success for ONH students.
Restorative-Centered: Data analysis revealed that teaching people to believe in themselves and to value the opportunities was a consistent message flowing from the mission of ONH to the value the opportunities was a consistent message flowing from the mission of ONH to the
San Bernardino County Workforce Innovation Act 2010 – 2017:
- 300 Youth Funded and Evaluated
- 55% of ONH’s Program Participants referred by the Criminal Justice System
- 33% pregnant/parenting youth
- 30% foster youth
- 20% Homeless youth
- 96% Low income
- 33% IEP/504 plan
- 33% Mental health diagnosis
- 66% Have a disability
- 82% of youth in their follow-up year entered post-secondary education or employment
- 100% percent earned a High School Diploma or Department of Labor Certificate
- 76% percent increased their literacy and numeracy gains by one grade level or more.
- 10% recidivism
- 293 High School Graduates