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Evaluation of the Truancy Court Program in Baltimore City

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Author(s): (Tara Rice) (Jayme Delano) (Sarah Schirmer) (Jeanne Bilanin)

This report documents process and outcome evaluations of the Truancy Court Program (TCP) operated by the Center for Families, Children and the Courts (CFCC) at the University of Baltimore School of Law. TCP is a voluntary, 10-week, in-school intervention for students who are beginning to demonstrate a pattern of truancy. The program emphasizes mentoring and service referral for student participants and their parents/guardians. Judges volunteer their time to conduct mock court sessions in participating schools, monitor student progress, and provide encouragement to participants and their families. The TCP team also includes school-based representatives, CFCC staff and law students. The evaluation was conducted by IGSR, in collaboration with the Maryland Judiciary, Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), with funding from the State Justice Institute. The report documents delivery of TCP in six Baltimore City schools during the 2008-2009 school year. Information was gathered through interviews with TCP team members, student participants, and parents/guardians; observation of TCP sessions; and review of administrative data. The evaluators found that merely participating in TCP did not result in improved student attendance, but that graduation from the program was associated with improved attendance.