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Aims:
  • Collect data for one year, two years and possibly five years, to monitor the progress of the cohort of young people involved in the trial.
  • To determine if the ABILITY model is effective in reducing anti-social behaviour (including crime and truancy)
  • Explore factors that may influence the principle outcome (truancy reduction), including
  • Risk and protective measures that capture a range of self assessments
  • Perceptions of Third Party Policing (e.g. perceptions of partnerships; knowledge of legal levers such as escalation and compliance with agreements);
  • Perceptions of procedural justice elements (e.g. perceptions of agency fairness, neutrality and legitimacy).

Multi-Site Trials of Third Party Policing: Project ABILITY

Project ABILITY is an initiative of the Queensland Police Service, with programmatic funding through the National Drug Strategy Law Enforcement Funding Committee (NDSLEFC), the Queensland Police Service Drug and Alcohol Unit as well as The Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA). The Queensland Police, the Department of Education, Training and Employment (DETE), and the Department of Communities (Youth Family Support Service) have also provided extensive in-kind support in the form of project management, recruitment, and provision of experienced officers and school based personnel to participate in the ABILITY process.

The evaluation of the Project ABILITY trial is fully funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Fellowship awarded to Professor Mazerolle. The ABILITY Trial involves an experimental field evaluation of Third Party Policing (TPP) where police partner with the DETE as a third party, and uses school-based legal levers and Family Group Conferences in an attempt to reduce the anti-social behaviour of truanting young people. The Family Group Conferences incorporate procedural justice and restorative processes and are aimed at engaging the truanting young person in education and reducing various problem behaviours, including delinquency. Ten schools are taking part in the ABILITY Trial.

In Project ABILITY, truanting youth are randomly assigned either to a group which receives the QPS business-as-usual approach to truancy and an information pack (the Resource Group – the control), or to an experimental group (the Engagement Group) which receives a FGC intervention. FGC facilitators use a restorative process grounded in a procedural justice approach and lead the participants from the police and schools, and the young person and a responsible adult through a conference discussion focused on the truanting young person. The FGC dialogue centres on the events leading to the intervention, how various people have been affected by the truanting behaviour, and the possible consequences of truancy for the young person in the short and long term. With the help of the facilitator and other participants, the young person and their parent/guardian(s) develop an Action Plan which aims to plot forward a plan to reintegrate the young person into a positive learning environment. The third party legislative and regulatory capacities of the DETE and other agencies are harnessed in this collaborative process, which seeks to enhance the family’s capacity to address issues relating to both the truanting behavior as well as other social problems.

Project Value: 
$2 601 856.00
Funding: 
ARC Laureate Fellowship
Partners: 
Queensland Police Service
Date: 
2010 to 2015
Time status: 
Current
Contact: 
Professor Lorraine Mazerolle (l.mazerolle@uq.edu.au)
Aims:
  • Collect data for one year, two years and possibly five years, to monitor the progress of the cohort of young people involved in the trial.
  • To determine if the ABILITY model is effective in reducing anti-social behaviour (including crime and truancy)
  • Explore factors that may influence the principle outcome (truancy reduction), including
  • Risk and protective measures that capture a range of self assessments
  • Perceptions of Third Party Policing (e.g. perceptions of partnerships; knowledge of legal levers such as escalation and compliance with agreements);
  • Perceptions of procedural justice elements (e.g. perceptions of agency fairness, neutrality and legitimacy).
Program/Affiliation: 
Type: 
Randomized Field
Quantitative
Longitudinal Outcomes
Keywords: 
Resilience
Youth
Crime control
Partnerships
Families
Community
Randomised field trial
Number: 
ISSR030047