Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

Brenda Deans

Committee Member

Steven Hecht

Committee Member

Abigail Tucker

Abstract

Pinellas County was combating a juvenile auto theft-problem evidenced by a major increase in juveniles breaking into and stealing cars across all city jurisdictions. Due to the auto theft-problem, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office created the Habitual Offender Monitoring Enforcement (H.O.M.E.) Task Force that includes multiple law enforcement jurisdictions within the county to address the problem. The purpose of the H.O.M.E. Task Force is to strictly enforce court-ordered sanctions by intensively supervising juveniles to decrease the likelihood of them committing more crimes. The H.O.M.E. Task Force focuses specifically on habitual juvenile offenders and the auto theft-problem, which is currently one of a kind in the country.

The study examined the impact that the H.O.M.E. Task Force has had on the juvenile auto theft-problem for the first two-and-a-half years of it being established. Secondary data from August 2016 to December 2018 was provided by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office H.O.M.E. Task Force. Results showed that the task force correctly selected which juveniles to monitor in relation to the auto theft-problem. Analysis showed there is a significant negative correlation between arrests for violating court-ordered sanctions and a decrease in auto theft-related crimes among juveniles monitored by the H.O.M.E. Task Force. The implications of these findings support that other law enforcement agencies apply the same strategies the H.O.M.E. Task Force used to combat juvenile crime. It is suggested that future research consider evaluating compliance check outcomes and the use of electronic monitors on juvenile recidivism rates.

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