Reeling in Disengaged Students: An Assessment of a Countywide Juvenile Court Attendance Program

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On any given day, thousands of youths are absent from school; many are absent without a legitimate excuse and thus deemed truant. Truancy has been linked to various problem behaviors including academic failure, delinquency, and school dropout. Thus, the prevention of truancy is assumed to have beneficial effects far into the future. This study provides an overview of an innovative truancy abatement program operating in southwestern Idaho known as the Ada County Attendance Court. Qualitative and quantitative data are presented to show how the program operates, its effects, and how it differs from other truancy prevention programs nationwide.