Creative Research Medal 2004
William Quinn, Professor of Child and Family Development, developed a program that reduces juvenile crime through prevention and early intervention. He directs the non-profit organization Family Solutions Program (FSP), which helps juvenile first-offenders and their families improve and redirect their lives. Established with grants in 1993, the program has graduated more than 750 at-risk youth and their families in Northeast Georgia. Of those, 24 percent have been charged a second time, compared with 59 percent of those who did not receive FSP. In a comparison between two counties – one that offers FSP and one that places first-offender juveniles on probation – juveniles who receive probation are 6.58 times more likely to commit a second crime. Effective for pre-teens and teens, whites and blacks, and males and females, FSP is now offered in communities in Georgia, Illinois, Kansas and Texas, among others. In multiple-family settings, parents, first-offenders and siblings increase family cohesion, gain emotional support, strengthen home-school partnerships, and develop skills in conflict resolution, decision-making and family cooperation. Dr. Quinn is among the researchers using FSP and other strategies in a multimillion-dollar CDC study aimed at reducing middle school violence. He has presented his research at national and international meetings and has written two textbooks and numerous book chapters and refereed journal articles.