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Truancy Reduction: Keeping Students in School

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2001
16 pages
This report presents major research findings regarding the problem of truancy and demonstrates why it is important that schools and communities work to prevent truancy and reduce its incidence.
The report describes the correlations of family, school, economic, and student factors with truancy; notes truancy’s role as a predictor of delinquency, including juvenile daytime crime; and examines the social and financial impacts of truancy. It also discusses two projects funded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP). These are Abolish Chronic Truancy (ACT) Now operated by the Pima County (AZ) Attorney’s Office and the Truancy Reduction Demonstration Program, a partnership with the Executive office for Weed and Seed and the Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program. These programs build on the strengths and resources of local communities to target truancy from a carrot and stick perspective to provide both the incentive to attend school and meaningful consequences for chronic nonattendance. Evaluations of these programs suggest that challenges in conducting truancy reduction projects include gaining consensus regarding a uniform definition of truancy and a standardized approach to addressing it; gaining cooperation from diverse community players; and implementing effective, data-driven methods for tracking truancy and program impacts. The analysis concludes that truancy is an early warning sign for future problems and requires attention. Figures, photographs, notes, and 26 references

Date Published: September 1, 2001