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Digging Out of Trouble: Public Archaeology as Rehabilitation for Juvenile Delinquents
Journal of Applied Social Science (2007)
  • James D Lee, San Jose State University
  • Tiffanie N Bruch, University of South Alabama
  • Philip J Carr, University of South Alabama

This article reports an evaluation of an archaeology project carried out by the University of South Alabama (USA) Center for Archaeological Studies to complement an Intensive Aftercare Program for juvenile delinquents in Mobile, Alabama. The project was an eight-week field school for 14 adjudicated youth. The goals of the project were to teach archaeology, provide job skills, improve pro-social attitudes of delinquents, improve delinquents' attitudes toward their local community, and reduce recidivism among delinquents. The evaluation was completed using a mixed methods approach including pre- and post-project questionnaires, weekly evaluations, comparisons with a matched sample, observations, and focus groups with staff. Findings are that students learned archaeology and formed positive relations with staff. There is no evidence that pro-social attitudes, ties to the community, or recidivism were altered. The quality of archaeology performed by the participants was high and the project beneficial to the Center. Such programs promise to be valuable components of juvenile intervention programs, adding education and job skills opportunities, but should not be expected to work as stand-alone interventions.

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Citation Information
James D Lee, Tiffanie N Bruch and Philip J Carr. "Digging Out of Trouble: Public Archaeology as Rehabilitation for Juvenile Delinquents" Journal of Applied Social Science Vol. 1 (2007)
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