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Serious Habitual Offender Comprehensive Action Program

NCJ Number
Date Published
August 1996
2 pages
This overview of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's (OJJDP's) Serious Habitual Offender Comprehensive Action Program (SHOCAP) discusses its background and objectives, benefits, implementation, and training and technical assistance.
SHOCAP emerged from research that shows a small proportion of offenders commit most serious and violent juvenile crime. SHOCAP has three objectives. First, it provides the juvenile justice system a structured, coordinated focus on habitual juvenile offenders. Second, it establishes policies designed to improve the effectiveness of procedures for dealing with habitual juvenile offenders. Third, it provides ways to identify, track, arrest, and prosecute the most violent habitual juvenile offenders. A 1995 independent evaluation of SHOCAP cited the following program benefits: reduction of information deficits on serious, habitual offenders (SHOs); focused responses to SHOs; improved identification of SHOs; early intervention for potential SHOs; incapacitation of SHOs; improved resource allocation for SHOs; and improved morale of juvenile justice personnel. SHOCAP's implementation includes an initial needs assessment, development of an interagency agreement, and defining a "serious habitual offender." In 1993, OJJDP introduced the Comprehensive Strategy for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders. This strategy recognizes that the family and the community, supported by core social institutions, have primary responsibility for meeting the fundamental needs of children and youth. In addition, using strategies and practices developed by the original SHOCAP sites, OJJDP has developed a training and technical assistance program. Contacts for additional information are listed.

Date Published: August 1, 1996