John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Research and Evaluation Center (New York, NY)
This publication offers a large range of strategies for individuals wanting to reform their juvenile justice system. “The various reform strategies may be conceptualized as relying on three distinct but interrelated mechanisms: resolution, reinvestment, and realignment (Butts and Evans 2011). Resolution refers to the use of managerial authority and administrative directives to influence system change; reinvestment entails the use of financial incentives to encourage system change; and realignment employs organizational and structural modifications to create new systems. This report describes the history and implementation of the most well-known reform initiatives that draw upon one or more of these mechanisms to achieve system change and it considers their impact on juvenile confinement at the state and local level” (p. 1). Sections of this report include: summary; introduction; resolution models in MA, UT, MO, and AR; reinvestment models in CA (subsidy), PA, WI, OH, CA (sliding scale), NC, Deschutes County (OR), IL, FL, and TX; realignment models in Wayne County (MI), CA, TX, and NY; and conclusion.
This website "is designed to support and promote youth justice programs that are informed by the science of adolescent development. Despite the obvious relevance of developmental science for the design and operation of youth justice programs, these concepts are not yet the dominant framework for interventions in youth justice. One way to increase the efficacy of youth justice would be to build programs and policies using the Positive Youth Justice Model (PYJ), which is a practical guide for applying developmental principles in justice settings … The Positive Youth Justice website is designed to explain and disseminate the concepts and strategies suggested by the PYJ Model." Points of access include: overview; background; changing the frame; disruption; social control theory; social learning theory; positive youth development; library; PYJ Program Medals; and award-winning programs.
"For the developmental approach to become more than an abstract framework or a philosophical perspective, practitioners need concrete policies and procedures that align youth justice with the science of adolescent development. This briefing paper describes the Positive Youth Justice model and assesses its potential as a tool for strengthening reform" (p. 1). Sections cover: introduction to positive youth development (PYD); Positive Youth Justice (PYJ) Model; two core assets—learning and doing, and attaching and belonging; developmental knowledge and justice practice; developmental science; Changing the Frame table—six assumptions on the left, three primary lens on the top; implementation challenges; All Evidence-Based Programs Available for Youth Justice table—four population or settings on the left, three intervention approached on the top; the gap in developmental approaches, broadening the reform agenda; and next steps.
"Financial debt associated with legal system involvement is a pressing issue that affects the criminal justice system, offenders, and taxpayers. Mere contact with the criminal justice system often results in fees and fines that increase with progression through the system … This report explores the causes and effects of perpetual criminal debt and offers solutions for encouraging ex-offender payment." Sections of this report include: introduction to criminal justice fees; inmate wages; examples of user fees and penalties for non-payment of criminal justice debt in eight states; restitution; child support; debt priorities; state and federal prioritization of offender financial obligations; debt collection; common collection practices and associated hidden costs to the ex-offender; effects of criminal debt; sources of offender debt, consequences of non-payment, and barriers to ways to reduce accumulated debt; employment wages; financial assistance for ex-offenders; release funds (gate money) in selected sates; eight proposed solutions; and conclusion.
This article explains why one must be cautious with implementing an evidence-based program. You must "understand the basics of evaluation research, including the statistical methods used to generate evidence of program effectiveness. A study that reports statistically significant results is not necessarily evidence of effectiveness, and being evidence-based does not mean a program is guaranteed to work … understanding these basic principles of evaluation research is part of every practitioner’s job" (p. 1). This publication clarifies: how evaluation research is limited; statistics are not always significant; effect size is a better assessment metric than statistical significance—effect size combines substantive importance and statistical significance; and while evaluation research should play a role, it cannot utterly have the last word; and some programs will be effective but not evidence-based because there is not enough money to invest in determining the efficacy of every justice program.