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The 8% Solution

NCJ Number
Date Published
November 2001
This fact sheet discusses the California 8 percent Solution study and the 8 percent Early Intervention Program that examined the needs of and made available treatment services for “at risk” juveniles.
The Early Prevention Program demonstrated that the highest rates of effectiveness and benefits should be the primary focus of the probation department, since there are not enough resources to confront all patterns of juvenile offenders. This, in turn, should lead to a solution for the 8% problem. The 8 percent Solution originated in the Orange County Probation Department in 1980, where research staff tracked first time offenders for a period of 3 years and concluded that 8 percent of the juveniles arrested were responsible for 55 percent of repeat offenses. With these results, early intervention programs were created for first time offenders. The programs focused on high-risk juveniles as well as their families. It developed intervention strategies and services through public agencies like Repeat Offender Prevention Program (ROPP) and private agencies. Types of services and strategies included on-site programs at schools, transportation, counseling for substance abuse, mental health evaluations and follow–ups, health education, employment services, programs such as life-skill classes or community service projects, family counseling, and parenting classes. A 5 year evaluation is near conclusion, with the final results expected in fall 2002. More statistical information can be found on the Orange County Probation Department website at www.oc.ca.gov/probation.

Date Published: November 1, 2001